Trump Issues Fiery Response to New York Times Tax Return Story

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President Donald Trump on Sunday branded a report in The New York Times about his taxes “totally fake news.”

The Times report said Trump paid only $750 in taxes in 2016 and again in 2017, and that he paid no taxes at all for 10 of the past 15 years because reported losses outweighed reported earnings. The Times did not release Trump’s returns, but said it had the information from a source it did not name.

Trump was asked about the report during a Sunday media briefing.

“It’s fake news. 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 talk about it. Totally fake news. No,” Trump said.

Trump said he paid taxes, and compared the IRS treatment of him to the agency’s targeting of conservative groups during the Obama administration.

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“Actually, I paid tax, but — 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,” he said.

Trump had harsh words for The Times and the Internal Revenue Service.

“You have people in the IRS — they’re very — they treat me very, very badly. But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you. But that’s just fake news. The New York Times tried it — the same thing. They want to create a little bit of a story, a little bit of — they’re doing anything they can,” he said, adding “I mean, the stories that I read are so fake. They’re so phony.”

Do you think the NYT story is a political hit job?

Trump said the Times will only do negative stories.

“I used to get good stories in the New York Times. When I ran for office — and I happened to be conservative Republican — I don’t think we’ve had a good story. They predicted my loss four years ago. They then apologized for their bad reporting. Then they predicted the FBI and all of these things. That’s now proven to be a hoax — a complete hoax. They got Pulitzer Prizes, along with the Washington Post. They should give all those Pulitzer Prizes back because everything was wrong. I mean, it was so bad. Their reporting was so bad. They were wrong. It was exactly the opposite,” he said.

In response to a follow-up question, Trump said, “I’ve paid a lot, and I paid a lot of state income taxes, too. The New York state charges a lot, and I paid a lot of money in state. It’ll all be revealed. It’s going to come out,” he said.

Trump said that his taxes remain under audit.

“After the audit is — after the — I’m being — 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.

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Trump rebuked the Times for “fake story after fake story. I’ve never seen anything like it. And people understand it, and people — that’s why the — the media has such a low approval rating now because of what they’ve done. It’s really a shame.”

Alan Garten, a Trump organization lawyer, denied the Times account and told Fox News that Trump “has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

“The New York Times’ story is riddled with gross inaccuracies.  Over the past decade the President has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government,” Garten said. “While we tried to explain this to the Times, they refused to listen and rejected our repeated request that they show us any of the documentation they purport to be relying on to substantiate their claims.”

“Obviously this is just part of the Times’ ongoing smear campaign in the run-up to the election,” he said.

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