President Donald Trump has a mixed and seemingly hypocritical record when it comes to who should or should not pay their taxes.
After reporting from the New York Times revealed Tuesday evening that Trump spent nearly a decade of not paying any income taxes to the U.S. government, a 2012 tweet he made is now receiving renewed scrutiny.
Trump implied in this 7-year-old tweet that it was inappropriate for nearly half of Americans to not pay any income tax “despite crippling [government] debt” held by the U.S. government.
HALF of Americans don't pay income tax despite crippling govt debt…http://t.co/gDAUj0Kt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2012
Yet reporting from the Times showed that for a decade, Trump did the exact same thing he complained about in 2012.
From 1985 to 1994, Trump lost $1.17 billion in assets. During that time period, in which Trump saw net losses, the business mogul little to no federal income taxes.
The taxes that were unearthed by the Times do not, of course, represent the most recent years of Trump’s earnings, which are at the center of the debate regarding whether the president has a conflict of interest when it comes to being able to serve in his position of authority while holding onto his financial assets.
But the tax returns do detail how Trump has a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude about taxes: when it comes to working-class people who don’t pay taxes, Trump takes a critical tone; yet the president himself spent approximately a decade not paying them himself.
We also know, based on Trump’s debate performances with his Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton, that Trump didn’t pay taxes on another year of income. During the debates, Clinton pointed out that Trump was defying decades of precedent by not allowing the American public to look at his tax records from previous years.
But, as Clinton noted, there were a few years available for us to look at when Trump was attempting to get a casino license. Those years of returns “showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax,” Clinton said, reported CNBC.
Trump responded to Clinton’s attack. “That makes me smart,” he said.