United States President Donald Trump today said he "paid millions of dollars in taxes" at the first Presidential debate in Cleveland amid a face-off with Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
A New York Times last week said Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the election. The report, which cited tax return data extending more than 20 years, said he had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years because he reported losing much more money than he made.
Trump, however, had dismissed the report as "totally fake news."
During the first presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace on Tuesday again asked the US President about The New York Times report.
Trump was pressed to say how much he paid in taxes but declined. "I paid millions of dollars in taxes. Millions of dollars in income tax," he said. Then he said that he attempted to avoid taxes as much as possible, referencing tax breaks that he and others try to claim.
"I don't want to pay tax," he said. He added that private investors like himself, "unless they're stupid, they go through the laws and that's what it is."
Shortly before the debate, he wrote on Twitter: "I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits."
"I am extremely under leveraged - I have very little debt compared to the value of assets," the US President said in a tweet on Tuesday.