Trump labels New York Times report on business losses a 'highly inaccurate Fake News hit job'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE lashed out at The New York Times early Wednesday after a report on his businesses losses, labeling the newspaper’s story a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!” 

The Times, citing IRS transcripts, reported late Tuesday that Trump’s businesses had lost nearly $1.2 billion between 1985 and 1994. 

Trump took to Twitter to defend himself, writing that real estate developers in the 1980s and 1990s were entitled to “massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases.”

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The president wrote that much of the losses were non-monetary.

“Sometimes considered ‘tax shelters,’ you would get it by building, or even buying,” Trump tweeted. “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes .... almost all real estate developers did — and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport.”

The president concluded by saying the “very old information” released by the Times was meant as a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!”

The president’s response closely mirrors the comments of a senior official who told the newspaper several weeks ago that Trump "got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments." A lawyer for Trump more recently told the Times that the tax data was "demonstrably false."

The documents obtained by the Times indicated that the former New York real estate mogul avoided paying income tax due to the losses for eight of the 10 years, although it was unclear whether the IRS asked him to make changes after audits.

The Times did not receive copies of Trump's actual tax returns from 1985 to 1994 but obtained copies of Trump's tax transcripts from those years that contain figures from his federal tax forms.

The two worst years for Trump in the 10-year period the Times examined were 1990 and 1991. The newspaper noted that the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino opened in 1990 and that the casino did not produce enough revenue to cover its high debt.

The Times was anonymously mailed a copy of Trump's 1995 state tax returns during the 2016 presidential election that showed losses of more than $900 million.