U.S. President Donald Trump paid just $ 750 (645 euros) in federal taxes in 2016, the year he was elected, and as much in 2017, according to an investigation released today by the New York Times.
The New York newspaper today published the first work of several to be launched in the next few days that focus on 20 years of tax returns for the multimillionaire.
“You have not paid any income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years [a 2016], largely because it reported more money lost than earned, “writes the American daily.
The tax returns of the former real estate tycoon, President since 2016 and running for re-election in November, are at the center of a legal battle, as Trump has always refused to publish them, unlike his predecessors.
“The New York Times obtained tax information for more than 20 years from Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his group, including detailed information about his first two years in office. This does not include his 2018 tax returns or 2019 “, write the authors of the investigation, who promise more revelations in the coming days.
In a parallel text, the newspaper’s director, Dean Baquet, writes that “the records show a significant difference between what Trump said to the public and what he revealed to federal tax authorities over the years.”
“These revelations underline why citizens want to know their president’s finances: Trump’s business appears to have benefited from his position and his comprehensive holding companies have created potential conflicts between his financial interests and the nation’s diplomatic interests,” added Baquet.
A lawyer for the Trump group, Alan Garten, told the New York Times that “most, if not all, facts appear to be incorrect”, adding that the President “paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including the payment of millions in personal taxes since he announced his candidacy in 2015 “.
Unlike all his predecessors since the 1970s, Donald Trump, whose family group is not listed on the stock exchange and who has made his fortune a campaign argument, refuses to publish his income statements and wages a battle to prevent its disclosure.
This lack of transparency has fueled speculation about the extent of his fortune or potential conflicts of interest.
The disclosure of this investigation comes two days before Trump and Democrat Joe Biden clashed in the first debate before the presidential elections, which take place on November 3.
Reactions to the investigation were immediate. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer posted a message on Twitter: “Put your hands in the air if you paid more federal taxes than President Trump.”
Already in a reaction cited by the agency France-Presse, the American president classified the investigation of the New York Times about his taxes as “fake news”.
“These are ‘fake news’, totally made up,” he said during a press conference at the White House. “I paid a lot, and I also paid a lot of income taxes at the state level, New York State charges a lot of taxes,” defended the Republican president, without giving further details.