In a series of tweets, Trump denied the conclusions of the report that he faces more than $400 million in loan and debt repayments that are coming due soon.
The Sunday article is based on copies of Trump’s tax returns that were provided by a confidential source. It also said Trump paid just $750 per year in income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no income taxes at all in 10 of 15 years before he became president.
Trump, who has been fighting for years to keep his tax returns private, reported in many of his rturns that he lost “much more money than he made,” the Times said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the debts have national security implications.
“This president appears to have over $400 million in debt … To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? So for me, this is a national security question,” Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC.
Trump called the Times report “nonsense with illegally obtained information” and accused the Times of having “only bad intent.”
“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation and tax credits,” he added.
Trump didn’t specify, however, if the millions to which he referred went to income taxes — the main thrust of the Times’ report.
“Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the [news media] hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged — I have very little debt compared to the value of assets,” he said in another tweet.
While Trump did not present supporting documentation, he added that “I am the only president on record to give up my yearly $400,000-plus presidential salary.” Last month, he donated one paycheck to the National Park Service.
Trump did not answer questions from reporters about the tax returns during a brief event at the White House Monday morning.
The Times said the tax returns showed Trump claimed losses at some of his prime assets — including a $55 million loss at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., between 2016 and 2019.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who will face Trump Tuesday in their first debate, released an ad shortly after the Times report comparing Trump’s taxes to the average amounts paid by workers like firefighters, nurses and teachers.
The ad lists firefighters’ average taxes of $5,283; $7,239 for teachers; and $10,216 for nurses before noting Trump’s payments of $750.
Trump’s refusal to release any tax returns dates back to his early days as a Republican candidate in 2015, when he said he wouldn’t disclose the documents while he was under an IRS audit. Since then, his attorneys have regularly fought legal and congressional efforts to see the returns.
The Trump Organization also rejected the Times report, saying the reported figures “appear to be inaccurate.”
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announce his candidacy in 2015,” Alan Gartner, the organization’s chief legal officer, said in the Times report.
Since the report was posted Sunday, Democrats and other observers have called for Trump to release his tax records.
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe tweeted that leverage held by Trump’s creditors “puts them in position to squeeze us all as long as he’s president.”
“Two takeaways: 1. Keeping him in office endangers our national security. 2. He’s desperate to hold onto office to stay out of prison,” he wrote.