Donald Trump
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, October 28, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

MSNBC, a news organisation in the US, reveals it “seriously” has US President Donald Trump’s tax return and teases release within hours. Host Rachel Maddow tweets the news, without revealing further details.

“BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously),” Maddow tweeted on Wednesday. It is unclear how the network obtained its alleged copy of Trump’s tax returns. Several political and media organisations did an attempt to secure a copy of the particular information, but failed.

The White House claims that publishing those returns would be illegal, the ABC reports. "You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago," a statement reads. It added that as the head of the Trump Organisation, the president had a responsibility "to pay no more tax than legally required".

Trump maintained that he would not publicise details of his personal tax due to an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS, however, believes there is no reason why the president cannot share details of his tax returns.

The POTUS’ tax returns have been of renewed interest in the past couple of days. It is believed that this information will reveal the scope of his financial ties to Russia.

Since 1976, Trump is the first presidential candidate from either the Democrats or Republicans to refuse sharing his financial records to the public, notes A January poll revealed that 74 percent of US voters feel this information should be made available to everyone.

Mitt Romney, a former Republican nominee, said Trump’s refusal to release his financial records should disqualify him from running for president. But Trump's advisors said the write-off showed his business "genius.” "He would have been fool not to take advantage of it," former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said.

Presidential candidates traditionally release their tax returns since 1968. George Romney was first to make his returns public who was then running against Richard Nixon and Lydon Johnson. In 1972, Nixon declined to release his tax returns. Ethics in Government Act of 1978 was passed in 1978, which required all candidates running for president and vice-president to submit a Public Disclosure Report with the Federal Election Commission.

Maddow, who is recognised with an Emmy alongside several other awards, has been hosting her own show on MSNBC since 2008. The 43-year-old anchor described herself as an “undoubtedly a liberal.”