WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a New York Times report that his businesses lost more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994 was "highly inaccurate".
He contended the reported losses were "non monetary", and that real estate developers like him during that period were entitled to take "massive write offs and depreciation" for tax purposes.
The Times reported on Tuesday it had acquired printouts from Trump's official IRS tax transcripts, including figures from his federal tax form. The newspaper said Trump reported business losses of $46.1 million in 1985, and a total of $1.17 billion in losses for the 10-year period.
After comparing Trump's information with that of other "high-income earners", the Times concluded that Trump "appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer". Because of his business losses, the newspaper reported, Trump did not pay income taxes for eight of the 10 years.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that developers during that period were "entitled to massive write offs and depreciation" that would "show losses and tax losses in almost all cases". He tweeted that much of those losses were "non monetary".
"You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes" and "renegotiate with banks," Trump tweeted. He called that "sport".
Trump said the Times story was based on "very old information" and a "highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!".
Trump is the first president since Watergate to decline to make his tax returns public.