Trump Insists That He Wanted To Show Business Losses, Calls It 'Sport'

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office on May 3

Trump responded to the Times report on Wednesday blasting it as a "Fake News hit job" on Twitter.

The president added, "You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes.nearly all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport".

He contended the reported losses were "non monetary", and that real estate developers like him during that period were entitled to take "massive write-offs and depreciation" for tax purposes.

President Trump has consistently refused to publish his tax returns and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday refused a request from Democratic lawmakers for Mr Trump's more recent returns.

Trump has repeatedly said he could not release his tax documents because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The newspaper said its reporting was based on printouts it acquired of Trump's official IRS tax transcripts, including figures from his federal tax form.

He was tweeting in reply to a New York Times (NYT) article claiming that from 1985-95 he made losses of over $US1bn.

"What Donald Trump, private citizen, was doing at the time was creative accounting which he would have been foolish not to do", Napolitano told FOX Business' Neil Cavuto Wednesday. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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Because of those losses Mr Trump did not pay income taxes for eight of the 10 years, according to the documents.

Still, it's worth contemplating how the projects in the 1985-to-1994 time span, themselves largely funded by suspect wealth Trump inherited from his father, laid much of the cultural foundation for Trump's reputation, which he then parlayed into his current brand-name business and political career.

In an additional statement to the Times he said "I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate" and "would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer's return", the paper reported.

According to the Times, Trump's apparent losses were greater than almost any other individual American taxpayer, so much so that he managed to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years.

There was another noteworthy finding in Trump's taxes.

"When you lower taxes, there is less reason to have shelters". The Times said a private attorney for the president, Charles Harder, had called its report "demonstrably false", but had not cited any specific errors. An investigation by USA Today actually found that Trump was involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the last 30 years.

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