After The New York Times published President Donald Trump‘s tax information from a nearly 10-year span in the ’80s and ’90s, late-night hosts are calling the self-proclaimed self-made billionaire “the worst businessman in America.”
“Congress may not be able to get Donald Trump’s tax records, but somehow The New York Times did and what they got is nuts,” Jimmy Kimmel said on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday.
The Times determined that, from 1985 to 1994, Trump’s businesses lost a cumulative total of $1.17 billion, based on “printouts from Mr. Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form.” That, as Stephen Colbert noted on The Late Show, is closer to $2 billion by today’s money standards.
Trump responded to the Times report by tweeting, “Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered ‘tax shelter’ … you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes….almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!”
“He said that it’s smart to lose money back then and that it’s fake news,” Kimmel pointed out. “It’s like bragging about your hang-gliding accident because now you get to park in handicap spots.”
“Everything we thought we knew about Trump back then is a lie,” Colbert said. “Remember his cameo as the fancy rich guy in Home Alone 2? Now we know when he recorded that he was so broke he had to borrow money from the pigeon lady.”
Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Seth Meyers on Late Night, and James Corden on The Late Late Show also unpacked the Times report, but most changed their focus to Fox & Friends.
The Fox News talk show notably presented the information with commentary like, “If anything, you read this and you’re like, ‘Wow, it’s pretty impressive all the things that he’s done in his life. It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.'”
“Say what you will about Fox & Friends, but when they are with you, they are with you. Ride or die,” Noah joked. “That’s a squad I want in my life. They’ll spin any negative into a positive. Every leader would be lucky to have that support. If Kim Jong-un had a Fox & Friends, they’d be like, ‘This haircut is the best one yet!’ Every leader. Hitler’s Fox & Friends would’ve been like, ‘You know, the haters are saying that he’s a mass murderer and he lost the war, but people don’t focus on how well traveled he was, yah? All the way from Paris to Russia in just a year?! And Charlie Chaplin even made a movie about him. How many people can say that?'”
The Late Late Show ran a whole segment with Corden predicting how Fox News would spin other headlines.
“Man tests PetSmart policy, brings camel into store”? More like, “Democrats Silent as the Middle East Invades American Businesses.”
“Female Student Reportedly Expelled for Kneeing Boy in Groin While in Girls’ Bathroom”? No. It’s more like, “Tucker Carlson Is Out This Week…”