House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Donald Trump on Monday over a New York Times report detailing how he has largely avoided paying income taxes and that he has not paid any income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.
The New York Times sifted through more than two decades of Trump’s tax returns and found that he only paid $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017. The Times report also alleges that Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years largely because he reported losing more money than he earned.
“Let’s come back to what we take an oath to protect and defend. This president is the commander in chief. He has exposure to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. To whom? The public has a right to know,” Pelosi said in an interview Monday with MSNBC.
“This president appears to have over $400 million in debt. To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? So for me, this is a national security question,” she said.
The Times also reported that Trump has more than $300 million in loans coming due within the next few years that he is personally responsible for repaying.
Trump said Sunday that the story was “totally fake news” and “made up,” although he acknowledged that he “didn’t know anything about the story” ahead of its publication, which came moments before his news conference began.
When asked about the report that he paid $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017, Trump said he has “paid a lot of money in state” taxes, although he did not specify how much.
In a series of tweets Monday morning, Trump said that the information was “illegally obtained” and that he “paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits.”
“Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the Fake News hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged — I have very little debt compared to the value of assets,” he tweeted. “Much of this information is already on file, but I have long said that I may release … Financial Statements, from the time I announced I was going to run for President, showing all properties, assets, and debts. It is a very IMPRESSIVE Statement, and also shows that I am the only President on record to give up my yearly $400,000 plus Presidential Salary!”
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Monday that”This is a … pre-debate attack intended solely to help Joe Biden. It ought to be reported as an in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign.”