'Totally fake': Donald Trump rubbishes NYT report on his tax returns

New York Times says data shows president’s finances are under stress

New details of US President Donald Trump’s tax returns were published on Sunday night by the New York Times, bringing fresh scrutiny on the president’s financial affairs just ahead of Tuesday’s presidential debate.

The newspaper said it obtained data related to the president’s tax returns going back more than two decades, showing the president’s finances are under stress due to losses on his business and “hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed.”

According to the investigation, Mr Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750, it claims. In addition he did not pay federal income tax in 10 of the 15 years, prior to the 2016 election, due to reported losses in his business, the paper said.

At a White House press conference shortly after the report broke, Mr Trump dismissed the article as “fake news.”

“It’s fake news. It’s totally fake. Made up . . . We went through the same questions four years ago,” he said.

Noting that he paid “a lot of money” in state taxes, he said his tax information would be revealed after the Inland Revenue Service completed an ongoing audit of his tax returns. Mr Trump became the first president since the 1970s not to release his tax returns when he won the 2016 election.

Mr Trump also renewed his attacks on postal voting, which is expected to be used by millions of Americans this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a big problem. You see it happening every day with ballots . . . we are gravely concerned about the Democrat assault on election integrity,” he said. “You’re going to be counting these things for ever . . . We all believe in transition, but when the ballots and the system is rigged . . . which it is, obviously it is,” Mr Trump said, as he addressed his recent comments suggesting he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Mr Trump also praised his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court justice following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“The Catholic Church is very well united on this. They are so thrilled that Amy has been chosen,” he said of his latest attempt to appeal to Catholic voters in the forthcoming election.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump said his Democratic rival Joe Biden should take a drug test before Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland.

“His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???,” he tweeted.

He repeated his call for Mr Biden to take a drug test later at his press conference.

“I’m willing to take a drug test, and he should too,” he said.