Trump Blasts New York Times Tax Info Leak as ‘Fake News Hit Job’
President responds to NYT leaking his old tax information
President Donald Trump has blasted the New York Times for leaking his tax info, declaring the move a "fake news hit job," yet the "bombshells" revealed in the report were already public knowledge.
On Wednesday morning, Trump responded to the NYT publishing his decades-old tax information, saying that, at the time, all business owners used the same strategy as him to avoid paying high taxes.
The newspaper obtained ten years of information on Trump’s taxes between 1985 and 1994 which it leaked in a report early on Wednesday.
The Times alleges that Donald Trump’s core businesses lost $1.17 billion in that timeframe.
Charles J. Harder, Trump's lawyer, slammed the report as “demonstrably false,” explaining that IRS transcripts from that time are “notoriously inaccurate.”
The president reacted to the article on his Twitter account, claiming that the demonstrated losses were due to “write-offs and depreciation” from his business activities.
Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered “tax shelter,” ......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
....you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
“Real estate developers in the 1980’s and 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases,” the Trump posted on Twitter.
According to the Daily Caller, the president wrote in “The Art Of The Comeback” in 1997 that he was worth “minus $900 million,” and stated in the first season of “The Apprentice” that he had bounced back from being “billions of dollars in debt.”
As DC noted, anyone who watched Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice” from the very beginning was aware of the huge business losses — they were mentioned in the opening segment of the premiere episode, which aired January 8, 2004.
Trump introduced the show by talking about the business climate in Manhattan, saying that it could “chew you up and spit you out.”
He claimed to be the largest real estate developer in New York, touting his buildings all over the world.
But then he revealed that the road to success had not always been easy.
“It wasn’t always so easy. About 13 years ago, I was seriously in trouble,” he began.
"I was billions of dollars in debt but I fought back and I won big league.
"I used my brain. I used my negotiating skills. And I worked it all out.”
The NYT echoed Trump’s own story in Tuesday’s report:
The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.
Mr. Trump’s 2005 returns … showed that by then he had significant sources of income and was paying taxes.
Democrats in Congress are seeking more recent tax returns from Trump, requesting scores of documents from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Mnuchin denied the request on Monday, alleging that Democrats do not have a “legitimate legislative purpose” to see the returns, as is required by law.