President Donald Trump angrily dismissed a bombshell New York Times expose about his tax information as “fake news”.
“It’s fake news,” Trump told reporters minutes after the New York Times published the report. “It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake. We went through the same stories, you could have asked me the same questions four years ago, I had to litigate this and had to talk about it.”
“Totally fake news,” he continued. “Actually, I paid tax. And you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns – it’s under audit, they’ve been under audit for a long time, the IRS does not treat me well, they treat me like the Tea Party, like they treated the Tea Party, and they don’t treat me well. They treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS that treat me very, very badly.”
“But they’re under audit,” Trump claimed. “And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you. But that’s just fake news.”
Trump says he didn’t know the story was going to be published today, but “somebody said they were going to a negative [story].”
Trump was pressed further on his tax information.
Asked if he could give the American people a sense of what he pays in federal income tax, he said: “First of all, I’ve paid a lot and I’ve paid a lot of state income taxes, too. … It’ll all be revealed. It’s going to come out, but after after the audit. They’re doing their assessment. We’ve been negotiating for a long time. Things get settled, like in the IRS. But right now when you’re under audit, you don’t do it. You don’t do that. So we’re under audit. But the story is a total fake.”
Listen to this pathetically weak pushback on the New York Times report about his tax returns. Trump is a con man. pic.twitter.com/be15BS005Z
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 27, 2020
Trump “paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency”, the paper reported, adding that “in his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.
“He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years – largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”
Saying Trump faced a possible hit of “more than $100m” if he lost “a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9m tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses.” The paper promises more stories in the coming weeks.
“The tax returns that Mr Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public,” the paper added.
The Times also said the documents it had obtained “comprise information that Mr Trump has disclosed to the IRS, not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.”