Even as the story was published, the candidate and his surrogates were engrossed in an effort to change the subject from his feud with 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado and his middle-of-the-night tweet storm on the subject. On Saturday night in Manheim, Pennsylvania, Trump questioned Hillary Clinton’s loyalty to her husband and imitated her near-faint on Sept. 11 after being diagnosed for pneumonia.
The New York Times report sheds light on some of the billionaire’s tax returns after Trump’s campaign refused to release any such documents, breaking with 40 years of presidential campaign tradition. Clinton has publicly released nearly 40 years’ worth, and Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has released 10 years of his tax returns.
Trump has said his attorneys are advising him to keep his tax returns private until a government audit is completed. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told a House committee Sept. 21 that people under IRS audit are free to release their returns or IRS letters informing a person they’re being audited.
In a story published online late Saturday, the Times said it anonymously received the first pages of Trump’s 1995 state income tax filings in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The filings show a net loss of $915,729,293 in federal taxable income for the year.
That Trump was losing money during the early to mid-1990s—a period marked by bankruptcies and poor business decisions—was already well established. But the records obtained by the Times show losses of such a magnitude that they potentially allowed Trump to avoid paying taxes for years, possibly until the end of the last decade.
His campaign said that Trump had paid “hundreds of millions” of dollars in other kinds of taxes over the years.
Trump’s allies defended him during appearances on the Sunday news shows.