New York Times report claims Trump’s tax avoidance, which it denies as ‘fake news’

US President Donald Trump has not paid any federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, according to a report published Sunday in The New York Times.

Trump, who has tightly guarded his tax files and is the only president in the modern era not made public, paid $ 750 in taxes to the federal government in the year he was elected, 2016, and $ 750 again in his first year in office.

Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump dismissed the report as “fake news” and said he paid the taxes, although he did not provide details.

The revelation, which the newspaper said came from tax return data it obtained over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment before the first presidential debate on Tuesday and weeks before a divisive election.

The president pledged that the information on his taxes “will be revealed.” But he did not provide any timeline for the disclosure and made similar promises during the 2016 campaign that he never followed up on.

In fact, the president has filed legal challenges against those seeking access to his revenue, including the US House of Representatives, which is suing for access to Trump’s tax returns as part of congressional oversight.

Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten and Trump Organization spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press on the report.

“Most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate,” Garten told the newspaper.

He said in a statement to the news organization that the president “has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions of dollars in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

During his first public election debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, Clinton said that Trump may not have released his tax returns because he paid nothing in federal taxes.

Trump interrupted her, saying, “It makes me smart.”

Watch | “It makes me smart,” Trump says of not paying taxes:

The Republican presidential candidate responds to Hillary Clinton’s comments about her refusal to release his tax returns 0:33

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