Trump quickly slammed the New York Times investigation as a "hit job" but did not dispute the losses themselves
According to the Times, federal tax documents from 1985 to 1994 show that Trump only paid income taxes twice during those years, earning his exemption otherwise due to the massive amounts of money he was losing.
Trump totaled losses over $1 billion over that 10-year period — a reality at odds with how he has marketed himself as a deal-savvy businessman, including during the 2016 presidential election.
“In fact,” the Times reported, “year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.”
Trump quickly slammed the Times investigation as a “hit job” but did not dispute the losses themselves. Instead he obliquely defended the large sums as “depreciations” and “massive write offs.”
As news of the president’s past business woes spread across social media, Trump critics began widely sharing the hashtag #BillionDollarLoser as rebuke of his carefully crafted image as a wealthy tycoon.
The account Statistics That Matter noted the losses broke down to a rate of $11,416 per hour for 87,600 hours.
Andrew Weinstein, an appointee in President Barack Obama‘s White House, tweeted: “As it turns out, @realDonaldTrump wasn’t lying when he said ‘I’m going to do for the country what I did for my business.’ ”
Another user wrote, “Every janitor working in Trump Tower paid more income taxes than Trump did in 8 out of 10 years.”
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Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns and financial history have been a source of significant controversy ever since his presidential campaign.
The Times was only able to obtain the information in his tax returns from a source who had legal access to them, according to the report.
House Democrats, swept to power in last year’s midterms, have vowed to investigate the president’s financial ties and business dealings, which have largely been kept secret.