Video of former President Donald Trump saying he paid “millions of dollars” in taxes in 2016-2017 resurfaced online after his tax returns were released this week.
For years, Democrats have targeted Trump’s tax returns because the businessman became the first president in decades not to release them. His refusal to do so has raised questions from critics about his finances, including whether or not he has paid his fair share of federal income taxes.
After the protracted legal battle, the House Ways and Means Committee finally released Trump’s tax returns on Friday. The report covers the period from 2015, when Trump first launched his presidential candidacy, to 2020, when he lost re-election to Joe Biden.
The committee’s report found that Trump’s income fluctuated significantly over this period, but he never paid more than 5 percent income tax. In 2016 and 2017, Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes as he reported significant financial losses at his myriad businesses.
After the tax returns were released, some social media users posted video of a 2020 presidential debate in which former Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed Trump on reports that he only paid $750 in taxes.
“I know you pay a lot of other taxes, but I’ll ask you the specific question. Is it true that you paid $750 in federal income taxes each of those two years?” Wallace asked.
Trump dismissed reports he paid such a low amount and insisted he paid millions, despite newly released tax returns indicating otherwise. As Trump spoke, Biden, then a candidate, urged him to release his tax returns to prove how much he paid.
“I’ve paid millions of dollars in taxes. Millions of dollars in income taxes. And let me just tell you – there was a story in one of the papers that I was paying $38 million a year. I paid $27 million a year,” Trump said.
Mike Sington, a former NBCUniversal exec, tweeted the video Friday with the caption, “Watch Trump lie straight to your face.”
The video was also tweeted Friday by popular Twitter account Acyn, which frequently criticizes Republicans. More than 1.1 million people viewed the video as of Saturday afternoon.
Republicans and Democrats react to Trump’s tax returns
Democrats and Republicans reacted to the release of Trump’s tax returns. Trump, in a statement previously sent to news week, wrote that Democrats “never should have released” yields.
“It’s going to lead to terrible things for so many people,” Trump said. “The great division in America is about to get much worse. The radical left Democrats have armed everything, but remember, this is a dangerous one-way street!”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, called the release of Trump’s tax returns a “new low” for Democrats.
“The illegal release of President Trump’s personal tax records by Democrats marks a new low in the largest political persecution of a president in history,” the congresswoman tweeted. “Anyone can see how successful Pres Trump is and that he has always followed IRS rules. Now turnabout is fair play.”
Democrats, meanwhile, have said the release of Trump’s tax returns shouldn’t target the former president, instead focusing on the mandatory Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit of presidents.
Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, the Democrat who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, criticized the “dormant” system in a statement Friday.
“We now know that the first compulsory examination opened two years after his presidency. That same day, that committee requested his return,” he wrote.
news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/video-trump-insisting-he-paid-millions-dollars-taxes-resurfaces-1770563 Video of Trump insisting he paid “millions of dollars” in taxes resurfaces