The Slatest

The New York Times Has 10 Years of Gnarly Tax Documents Showing Trump to Be a Mirage of a Man

US President Donald Trump smiles after an address on May 25, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Everything is fine. Two-hundred percent fine.
NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

The New York Times was able to get its hands on 10 years of Donald Trump’s tax information and after rummaging around a bit is able to report something we all kinda knew deep down: everything about Donald Trump is an utter mirage. The hair, the hue, and, yes, the money. When it comes to deal-making and conducting business in a manner that actually makes money, Trump’s always been working the long grift.

The Times got access to a decade of Trump’s tax information—including printouts from his IRS tax transcripts—ranging from 1985 to 1994. Those are not the same tax returns that Congress is now actively pursuing to suss out foreign income and influence, but, the Times points out, the cache of tax documents “represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes.” So how does Trump’s financial situation look during his supposedly high-flying years? Pretty gnarly. Trump lost more than $1 billion over the course of the decade with losses accelerating year-by-year. From the Times:

The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade. In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991—more than $250 million each year—were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years. Over all, Mr. Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years. It is not known whether the I.R.S. later required changes after audits.

Previous Times stories on snippets of Trump’s tax sitch showed that by 1995 his declared losses were so big—$915.7 million—that he could conceivably not have to pay any income tax at all, for decades.

Trump being broke is the most relatable thing about him.