[Trump] called this totally fake news when The Times started publishing documents about his tax payments and about his tax returns, so this essentially substantiates their reporting, because otherwise why would you sue and why would you claim damages? — Tom Winter, NBC News Correspondent for Investigations
[Trump] called this totally fake news when The Times started publishing documents about his tax payments and about his tax returns, so this essentially substantiates their reporting, because otherwise why would you sue and why would you claim damages? — Tom Winter, NBC News Correspondent for Investigations

Trump appeared to admit in a lawsuit that NYT report on his taxes — which his lawyer had dismissed — is actually true
  • Donald Trump's attorney in 2018 disputed the accuracy of aspects of the NYT expose on his taxes.
  • A new lawsuit makes no arguments on accuracy, instead attacking the motives of those behind it.
  • Some see this as an admission that Trump now concedes the report was accurate.
Back in 2018 when the bombshell New York Times exposΓ© on Donald Trump's tax affairs was published, the president's attorney, Charles Harder, issued a broad denial.

"The New York Times's allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory," Harder said in a statement to the publication. "There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate."

But in launching a lawsuit this week against the Times and his niece, Mary Trump, over the report, the former president seems to have shifted his position.

In the suit filed on Tuesday in a state court, Trump sued the Times, three of its reporters, and his estranged niece for $100 million.

It alleged that they engaged in an "insidious plot" against him in seeking out and publishing information from the documents whose contents were protected by a confidentiality agreement.

Mary Trump responded to the lawsuit by calling her uncle "a loser", while the Times said in a statement Trump was seeking to silence news organisations.

Despite his earlier position, Trump does not in the lawsuit dispute the authenticity of the family financial records and other data that the Times based its reporting on, which Mary Trump provided to the Times.

Among those pointing out the apparent shift in Trump's claims about the accuracy of the report was NBC's Tom Winter.

"As far as this lawsuit, I think an interesting thing here is that it essentially proves the story," said Winter. "Because if the documents were, in fact, fake, there would be no reason here to sue. The president called this a totally fake news when The Times started publishing documents about his tax payments and about his tax returns, so this essentially substantiates their reporting, because otherwise, why would you sue and why would you claim damages?"

In fact Trump's response at the time was a little more nuanced than Winter's account admits, with the president not denying any specific claims in a tweet responding to the report.

"The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of "time value of money" in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me," wrote Trump on Twitter in response.

By using the concept of "time value of money" Trump seems to have been claiming that the Times did not take into account how the value of his fortune had changed, though tax experts in comments to NBC News at the time weren't entirely clear on what Trump was trying to say.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-appears-admit-lawsuit-nyt-report-taxes-is-true-2021-9