WASHINGTON ― Following Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, Donald Trump’s inner circle went on cable TV and insisted that, yes, of course Donald Trump has paid federal income taxes. But they also revealed that, yes, Trump did indeed carry over his $916 million loss in 1995 to other years.
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told NBC news that Trump had paid “hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes ― property, real estate, excise, state, local, and federal payroll taxes, certainly.”
When the host attempted to clarify that Trump had indeed paid federal income taxes, Conway answered yes.
“Oh, of course, federal income taxes in the years that he had a profit,” she said. “The one year that somebody gave to The New York Times, 1995, he claimed a loss, and he carried that forward.”
Whether she intended to or not, Conway confirmed a portion of this week’s major report from The New York Times, which said that Trump used that massive loss in the mid-90s to lessen (or even eliminate) his tax burden in other years.
On CNN, Eric Trump also claimed that his father had “absolutely” paid federal income taxes. But then, Trump clarified that his father’s company had paid a “tremendous amount of tax.”
He continued this line of speaking ― saying his father pays a large amount in taxes, but then correcting himself to say that his company pays a large amount in taxes.
“My father pays a tremendous amount of tax,” he said. “As a company, we pay a tremendous amount of tax.”
And if you weren’t convinced that there might be some sort of definitional issue here, Trump said the line once more: “We pay a tremendous amount tax, as a company.”
It’s not clear whether the younger Trump is conceding that his father, as an individual, doesn’t pay much in taxes. Either way, the argument seems to be that we should include the taxes Donald Trump’s companies pay in calculating the nominee’s personal tax burden.
The New York Times revealed over the weekend that Trump had a $916 million loss in 1995. If he carried the loss forward, he could have avoided paying taxes for years.
Amber Ferguson and Sam Stein contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.