In mid-August, Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax rate (which brought her up to fifteen years of disclosed returns). In doing so, she pressured Donald Trump to join the long tradition of presidential candidates doing so, but naturally, Trump declined to comply. And at last week’s debate, he admitted to feeling “smart” when Clinton suggested that he doesn’t pay federal taxes. Trump later groused to Bill O’Reilly that he never admitted to not paying taxes, only that it’s a smart idea “because tax is a big payment.”
Throughout his campaign, Trump has consistently refused to disclose his taxes due to his chronic audits (which do not preclude release under IRS rules). Well, New York Times obtained some of Trump’s 1995 tax records and published them on Saturday night. The result was rather damning even if the documents didn’t prove any illegal acts on Trump’s behalf. What the documents did show is that Trump might have avoided up to 18 years of federal taxes because he declared a $916 million loss in 1995, which is a humiliating blow to the business mogul’s reputation.
For real. Trump brands himself as a political outsider who is fit to lead this country — despite an utter lack of policy and governing experience — because he’s a great negotiator and has great business sense. But a mere few pages of tax documents reveal a lack of such prowess, and not only did Trump sustain a stunning loss, he appears to have richly benefited from his failure by possibly avoiding taxes. Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook labeled The Times‘ report as a “bombshell” in this statement: