Team Trump is trying to push back at the New York Times bombshell report on the president’s tax information that details the former reality show star’s financial practices that frankly appear to be criminal — but we’ll leave that to the experts to decide. The newspaper reported that during ten out of 15 years, Trump, a self-described billionaire, paid no federal income taxes — and during his first year in office, he only paid $750. To put that in perspective, Trump’s own undocumented workers paid more in taxes than the president did.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian R. Morgenstern, during an appearance with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, tried to defend Donald Trump over the jaw-dropping report that apparently describes either a horrible business person or a tax cheat — or both. Harlow wasn’t having it.
“Here’s why it matters: because federal taxes pay for things like the military — that the president said he so strongly supports,” Harlow shot back. “It pays the salary of Secret Service members that secure him every single day. It pays for roads, bridges — I could go on. And the average American, in 2017, Brian, paid $12,199 in federal income taxes. Why does the president believe that he owes 16 times less?”
Morgenstern then insisted that Trump “paid millions of dollars in taxes,” but he wasn’t specific about what sort of taxes. Harlow explained that she was referring to federal income taxes. Morgenstern attempted to deflect by bringing up Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter — and attempted to smear the Times.
I’m starting to see a pattern here.
“Where are the taxes on Hunter’s three and a half million from Russia?” Morgenstern asked. “Where are the taxes on his billion dollars from China? The president’s paid tens of millions of dollars.” Hunter Biden, though, is not the president.
Harlow said, “In 2017, Brian, according to all of these documents, it appeared the president paid more to Panama, India and the Philippines than he did to Uncle Sam. How is that America first?”
Morgenstern claimed the tax documents obtained by the Times were not “verified” and that the newspaper’s reporting was “coordinated with the Democrats” as a “political hit.”
Harlow called him out again.
“These are remarkable reporters from the New York Times who went through 20 years of documents,” Harlow said. “It is not OK for you to accuse them, with no facts, of coordinating with the Democratic Party. Please stop doing that, or this interview will end. Brian, stop attacking the press.”
The Trump spox echoed the president’s talking point of donating his salary, but that rings hollow since he profits from the businesses he refused to divest from while in office.
Featured image via screen capture