And while Trump decried the leak as "fake news" — despite the fact his own White House confirmed the content of the leak — many speculated Trump himself was the leaker, releasing a tax return that cast him in a flattering light to distract from his administration's botched rollout of its Affordable Care Act replacement.
Those questioning the leak's origins include individuals from both sides of the political aisle — as well David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who received the leaked returns.
Many pointed out the tax return was stamped with "client copy" — the client, in this case, being Trump himself.
Former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), current cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe, said Trump "cherry-picked one return from over a decade ago and had it leaked to the press."
"The Trump camp released one positive tax return to distract from Russia hearings and the Trumpcare meltdown," Scarborough added in a later tweet. "That's painfully obvious."
Republican operative Liz Mair echoed those sentiments.
"Whole thing is a setup to distract from Trumpcare," Mair tweeted. "Absurd anyone's buying it."
And Democrats, knowing the tax return would dominate news coverage, warned party members to not get distracted to and keep the focus on the Republican health care plan — the future of which grows dimmer by the day.
"Dems should return focus to Trumpcare tomorrow [and] the millions it will leave uninsured," tweeted Brian Fallon, a top communications aide to Hillary Clinton's campaign. "Not get distracted by two pages from '05 tax return."