President Trump during Thursday’s prime-time town hall claimed that a New York Times report on years of his tax returns is both inaccurate and “illegal,” saying that the journalists behind it should be jailed.
“What they did is illegal, number one,” Trump told NBC News journalist Savannah Guthrie of the report during the Miami event. “Also, the numbers are wrong.
“If they have my tax returns, as you know, they have to go to jail. It’s illegal.”
The September report, which looked at 18 years’ worth of Trump’s tax records, said that he paid only $750 to the feds in the year he won the presidency — and that he’s some $400 million in debt.
Trump did not explicitly refute either of those assertions on Thursday.
“I think it’s a filing number,” said Trump, when asked about the $750 figure.
And asked by Guthrie whether it was true he has a nine-figure tax debt, Trump downplayed the sum without disputing its accuracy.
“It’s a tiny percentage of my net worth,” he said. “When you look at vast properties like I have — and they’re big and they’re beautiful and they’re well-located — when you look at that, the amount of money, $400 million, is a peanut. It’s extremely under-levered.”
Trump, who previously labeled the Times story “totally fake news,” has repeatedly declined to release his tax records to the public, saying that they are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
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