The New York Times released a bombshell report on Sunday that revealed US President Donald Trump to be — shocker! — a chronic tax evader riddled with debt. After combing through over two decades of Trump's tax information, reporters found "struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle, and hundreds of millions in debt coming due," among other issues.
One of the major revelations of the report was that Trump paid only $750 (£583) in federal income taxes in the year 2016, and another $750 (£583) in 2017 — and that he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the 15 previous years. Social media quickly lit up with rage: "In 2016 & ‘17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes *as a bartender,*" tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The report went on to reveal more fury-inducing details, such as the $70,000 (£500,000) Trump wrote off for his hairstyling needs while on The Apprentice; how his businesses have been losing millions of dollars since 2000, notably $315.6 million (£245,396,358) at his golf courses; and how he's been in a decade-long audit battle with the IRS over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million (£56,683,759.50) tax refund.
After Trump decried the report as “FAKE NEWS!” on Twitter on Sunday night, he had more words on the matter by Monday morning, claiming in a rant that the Times published the story with “illegally obtained information” and that he has “very little debt compared to the value of assets.” Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organisation, also claimed that “most, if not all, of the facts [of the report] appear to be inaccurate.”
At this stage in Trump’s US presidency, the fact that he’s skirted the law for decades is unfortunately not a surprise. Outrage fatigue as a result of the constant barrage of terrible Trump news is real: On any given day, we are bombarded with more stories of him praising white supremacists, ignoring the basics of democracy, and allegedly swindling his own niece out of tens of millions of dollars. Still, the pundits at Fox News praise him and his base eggs him on. It is exhausting and demoralising. But we need to keep up the outrage — and America needs to continue to take direct action aimed at removing him from office.