Calls for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns have only grown since the 2016 campaign, when he became the first presidential candidate of a major party since the 1970s not to publicly disclose his financial documents.
Trump said on the 2016 campaign trail that he would release the documents if elected. Then he claimed he couldn't release them because he was under audit.
Now, a bombshell report from the New York Times summarizes two decades of the President's taxes, and it's pretty clear to critics why Trump went to such an effort conceal them.
The report reads:
As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.
Among the more damning revelations from the report was that Trump—who claims to be a billionaire—paid only $750 in taxes in the years 2016 and 2017. For 10 of the last 15 years, he paid nothing at all.
Given the President's penchant for Twitter, it didn't take long for denizens of the internet to dig up a tweet criticizing former President Barack Obama for paying too little in taxes.
@BarackObama who wants to raise all our taxes, only pays 20.5% on $790k salary. http://t.co/bqF26mQf Do as I say not as I do.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2012
The President slammed Obama for allegedly only paying 20.5% of his $790 thousand salary, which Trump tried to use as an example of hypocrisy.
That wasn't the only one.
"@conservativeJT: @bluejoni @realDonaldTrump Trump is an American that will pay more taxes in one year than you pay in your entire life.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2013
HALF of Americans don't pay income tax despite crippling govt debt...http://t.co/gDAUj0Kt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2012
The tweets are coming back to haunt him now.
Barack Obama was paying 20.5% more taxes than Trumphttps://t.co/FKvep4ESnB
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) September 28, 2020
When he tweeted this, @realDonaldTrump paid zero percent in taxes. Just to say. https://t.co/2nbEiVAore
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) September 28, 2020
Let's see... 20.5 pct of $790,000 is $161,950....
So the equivalent of 216 years of Trump income tax payments. Give or take. https://t.co/btOMrSIrYt
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) September 27, 2020
20.5% of $790,000 is $161,950, which is - let me just check the math one second - ah yes, it's a *bit* more than $750. https://t.co/XWCtLeB3MY
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 28, 2020
The latest example of hypocrisy from the President more firmly established the mantra that "there's always a tweet" in which Trump completely contradicts himself or the stances he holds.
File under: There's always, always, always a tweet. https://t.co/c6jffGIR5H
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) September 27, 2020
There really is an old Trump tweet for absolutely every occasion. https://t.co/WfZVTpsh1a
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) September 28, 2020
The Times has said it will be printing more stories regarding Trump's financial records in the coming weeks.