President Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen pulled back the curtains on Tuesday during an interview, specifically, in part, about the reason that he believes President Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns.
When questioned why Trump is so reluctant to release his tax returns despite pledging for years to make them public, Cohen announced: “He doesn’t report the income he claims. His wealth is not as significant, and I imagine they were probably lenient in how they took deductions.”
Plus Cohen said that is not the president’s biggest worry. “His biggest fear is, if that tax return was released, there’s a whole slew of accountants and forensic accountants that will rip through it and he will end up with a massive tax bill, penalties, fines, and possibly even tax fraud.”
In addition, Cohen appeared on MSNBC’s Joy Reid Wednesday to give his perspective on President Trump’s ABC town hall event. “I wouldn’t call it a hatred towards immigrants, It’s just a lack of concern.
It’s a lack of empathy they were a means to an end for him, and whether or not they were documented or not made no difference to him at all. You have to have empathy. You have to have compassion, and you have to care about something other than yourself to think about somebody else. He lacks those capabilities.”
Beyond that, “Look at what he did last night to Professor Blaque,” said Cohen, while referring to the guest on air before him. “If that just isn’t a demonstration of his lack of empathy, you know, then there are really aspects to understanding President Trump’s mentality and his mindset when you are talking about empathy, which they desperately told him he has to start showing because it’s really making his numbers in the polls go down a lot.”
Cohen claimed, “First of all, it’s not news that President Trump lacks empathy in general, and that’s for anyone, myself included, right? And the second, it’s also not news that President Trump demeans people of color on a routine basis.”
Along with, “However, the third part, and this is the most interesting, last night, what President Trump exhibited with Professor Blaque is more than just a lack of empathy. He exhibited contempt for her because she’s a woman of color and he does this often, as well.”
Then argued, “So if you look at his body language, he appeared annoyed that here there is this black woman, who is complaining about all sorts of preexisting conditions, asking him about health care, and in the back of his mind he knows that there is a zero chance that she’s a supporter and is going to be voting for him and so this is the response that you got. Exactly the way that it looked on television is exactly what’s going on in his mind, sad.”
So, back to the issue of releasing President Trump’s tax returns. Why won’t he do it?
Back in 2016, Hillary Clinton pushed Trump on his lack of transparency on his taxes. And this exchange occurred:
CLINTON: “So you gotta ask yourself — why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he is not as rich as he says he has. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about six hundred and fifty million dollars to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he does not want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody has ever seen for a couple of years where he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he did not pay any federal income tax.
TRUMP: “That makes me smart”
3 Plausible Reasons Trump Will Not Release His Tax Returns:
1) Trump is just not as rich as he says he is: Trump has been proven to overstate his personal wealth time and time again, which spans decades of doing so. Trump once said he’s worth $10 billion, but as Forbes points out, the real number is likely closer to $3 billion.
If Trump were to be found to be worth just about 33% of what he claims to be, that would be severely embarrassing to him, which for a guy who struggles with narcissism would be a huge blow to him personally.
2) Trump’s ties to Russia: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report made is very clear that Trump and his campaign did not collude with the Russians in an effort to win the 2016 election, but it would still be a lot of ammunition to use for the Democrats heading into the November general election if Trump’s tax returns showed he had extensive financial dealings and ties to Russia.
According to Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, Trump and his family were very involved personally in the Trump Tower Moscow that was set to happen, but ultimately did not, and that Cohen lied about that involvement to protect his client at the time.
We also know that Donald Trump Jr. said at a 2008 real estate conference: “In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
3) Trump paid minimal (or zero) taxes: We know this because Trump admitted it himself, saying that he claimed a $916 million net operating in 1995 to shelter himself from paying personal income taxes for number of years.
The New York Times, explains it like this: “Known as net operating loss, it allows an array of deductions, business expenses, real estate depreciation, losses from the sale of business assets and even operating losses to flow from the balance sheets of those partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations onto the personal tax returns of people like Mr. Trump. In turn, those losses can be used to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income.”
So, $916 million loss in 1995 could have allowed him $0 in personal income taxes for larger part of the next two decades.