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Tax figures show Trump business losses of $1.17 billion over 10 years, report says

Trump businesses lost $1 billion+: report

Tax information shows President Trump's businesses ran up more than $1 billion in losses over a period of 10 years in the 1980s and 90s, The New York Times reported Tuesday. 

Citing printouts from the president's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax transcripts obtained by the paper, The Times said Mr. Trump reported approximately $1.17 billion in losses between 1985 and 1994 from his business ventures in casinos, hotels and residential buildings.

"Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners," the report said. 

The Times said it did not obtain Mr. Trump's actual returns, but "received the information contained in the returns from someone who had legal access to it" and cross-referenced the data with publicly available IRS records.

The Times said the president reported such a high amount of business losses that he avoided paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years analyzed. In 1991, Mr. Trump accumulated $418 million in losses — which, according to the report, represented 1 percent of all losses declared by U.S. taxpayers that year.

Mr. Trump pictured in 1989. AP

The White House did not immediately respond to the report Tuesday night. But one of the president's personal lawyers, Charles Harder, is quoted in the report as saying the tax information was "demonstrably false."

The Times' statements about "the president's tax returns and business from 30 years ago are highly inaccurate," Harder said in a statement to the paper. 

The revelation threatens to undermine some of the assertions Mr. Trump has made about his wealth and business decisions. Throughout the 2016 election and his time in the White House, Mr. Trump has portrayed himself a self-made billionaire — basked in economic successes — who built an unrivaled financial empire.

The report will also likely invigorate congressional Democrats who have been embroiled in a tense showdown with the administration over Mr. Trump's tax returns. After weeks of delay, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied a request by the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee to turn over six years of the president's tax returns, saying the request by lawmakers "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose."

Editor's note: This article was updated to better reflect a quote Charles Harder, one of President Trump's lawyers, provided to The New York Times. In his statement to the Times, Harder called the newspaper's statements about the president's "tax returns and business" from 30 years ago "highly inaccurate," not the tax returns themselves. 

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