President Trump took to the podium Sunday hours after a bombshell New York Times report alleged he only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2017, the year he took office. Mr. Trump insisted the report was "fake news" and "made up," but again claimed he cannot release his tax returns because he is under audit, although an audit does not stop him from releasing them publicly.
According to the Times, Mr. Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the 15 years through 2015. In 2016, the year he was elected, he paid $750 in federal income taxes, the Times reported, and he paid the same amount in 2017. The Times cited tax-return data it said was "provided by sources with legal access to it." Data from 2018 and 2019 was not available.
The Times said the documents show millions in revenue from endorsements and licensing deals, as well as some real estate ventures, paired with massive losses from golf courses. "The Apprentice" and deals that followed were particularly lucrative, the Times said, bringing in $427.4 million for Mr. Trump.
International ventures also brought in money, including from the Philippines and Turkey, raising concern about possible conflicts of interest. The tax documents do not "reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia."
CBS News has not verified the information reported by the Times.
When pressed directly on how much he paid in 2016 and 2017, Mr. Trump said he "paid a lot," claiming he paid a fair amount in "state taxes" in New York. Earlier this year, Mr. Trump changed his primary residence to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, alleging he had paid millions in "city, state and local taxes."
An attorney for the Trump Organization said in a statement that The New York Times report was "riddled with gross inaccuracies."
"Over the past decade the President has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government," said Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten in a statement. "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. Of course, I can't help but question the timing of the article. This is just another misleading story in the Times' ongoing smear campaign in the run-up to the election."
Kate Bedingfield, Biden's communications director, said on MSNBC that the Times report is the "latest reminder how clear the choice is here between, in this case, between Park Avenue and Scranton."
"You have in Donald Trump a president who spends his time thinking about how he can work his way out of paying taxes, of meeting the obligation every other working person in this country meets every year," she said. "With Joe Biden you have somebody who has a completely different perspective on what it means to be a working family in this country."
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