It may now be clear why Donald Trump was so adamant in not releasing his tax returns.
Trump’s tax returns have plagued him in the 2016 presidential campaign. His rival, Hillary Clinton, along with countless critics have slammed him for refusing to release them. They said that he, clearly, had to be hiding something. Trump, on the other hand, said he was being audited, and he would not release them until after the audit was complete.
Things have now changed, drastically. On Saturday, The New York Times obtained Trump’s returns from 1995. They were sent to the publication anonymously.
The returns showed that during that year, Trump declared a loss of $916 million. This may have resulted in the businessman not paying taxes for 18 years, which would be completely legal.
After receiving the leaked returns, the publication had them verified by Trump’s longtime accountant, Jack Mitnick.
Trump’s campaign released a statement, saying that the former Celebrity Apprentice host has, in fact, paid a mass amount of money in taxes.
“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement read. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.”
The statement is a stark contrast from Monday’s first presidential debate, where Trump said that paying no taxes “makes [him] smart.”
Clinton’s team responded to the leak and slammed him for his possibly massive tax break.
Trump “apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.”
Trump “apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.” pic.twitter.com/g62jB9fKr5
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2016
This tax scandal comes shortly after what has been nothing short of a disastrous week for Trump. His debate performance was widely-panned by critics and voters, and he later went on a Twitter rampage about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.