President Trump is doubling down on his initial dismissal of a damning New York Times story about his finances as "totally fake news." In a series of tweets Monday, Trump again pushed back, insisting he has paid "many millions of dollars in taxes." However, CNBC points out that Trump did not specify "income taxes," which is what the Times story is focused on. The Times investigation alleges that Trump has paid very little of them in the last 20 years or so, and that he also has huge debt. Trump's comments:
- “The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent. I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” he wrote.
- “Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the Fake News hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged—I have very little debt compared to the value of assets. Much of this information is already on file, but I have long said that I may release Financial Statements, from the time I announced I was going to run for President, showing all properties, assets and debts,” he added.
- "It is a very IMPRESSIVE Statement, and also shows that I am the only President on record to give up my yearly $400,000 plus Presidential Salary!"
For a counter to Trump, see an op-ed by Timothy O'Brien at Bloomberg
. O'Brien, who was once unsuccessfully sued by Trump over a book he wrote about Trump's business empire, writes that he thinks Trump's debt is even higher than the estimate of $421 million cited by the Times
. As such, he views Trump as a "profound national security threat." (Another critic sees the looming debt as a "time bomb."