The recently released report on the Donald Trump tax returns has sent shockwaves throughout the United States just over a month before the upcoming presidential elections.
The report found that Trump paid no federal income tax in 11 of the 18 years it reviewed and paid just $750 in 2016 and 2017, the most recent years it reviewed. Democrats are optimistic that this will bolster their chances of taking over the White House when Joe Biden contests the November 3 presidential elections. And while Trump is the first president in modern history to refuse to release his tax returns, which are under audit, it is clear that the report will have an adverse effect on his support.
“That was the first time that we’ve really seen Donald Trump effectively on offense in seven months,” said Doug Heye, former communications director for the Republican National Committee, as reported by The Hill. “Being on offense is always better than being on defense. That lasted for less than 24 hours.”
Heye was referring to Trump’s offensive manoeuvre to announce his nominee for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacated position in the United States’ Supreme Court. He nominated Amy Coney Barrett barely more than a week after Ginsburg’s death and it could have been a moment that unified Republican voters who could effectively have control over the highest court in the land for a generation. However, with the New York Times report being published just a day after he nominated Barrett and just days before the first presidential debate, the Trump campaign will now have to defend the revelation in front of the entire country.
Trump initially dismissed it as “fake news” and claimed he had not been contacted for comment, despite his attorney being quoted in the story. He also reiterated that he won’t release his tax returns due to the audit. House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi raised questions over his potential to be influenced by foreign countries who he may be indebted to.
“It’s a disdain for America’s working families. It’s not right,” she said on MSNBC. “But our responsibility is to protect and defend and we have to make sure we know what exposure the president of the United States has, and what an impact it has on national security decisions for our country.”
While Biden has yet to discuss the Trump tax returns, his campaign has turned the Times report into T-shirts and buttons that read “I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump.”
Trump and Biden will square off in the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, which will be moderated by Fox News‘ Chris Wallace. Wallace is reportedly planning to ask questions related to both candidates’ records, the coronavirus, the economy and the Supreme Court, among other issues.