Timothy O’Brien, author of the 2004 book “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald,” appeared on CNN this morning to discuss what he saw in Donald Trump’s tax returns during a lawsuit brought against him by Trump as a result of the book.
O’Brien interviewed Trump and used the information from those interviews as well as other research to write the biography. What he found through that research was a wild exaggeration of Trump’s wealth and business successes, which he included in his book. Trump sued O’Brien for libel. Upon intense scrutiny of Trump’s tax returns, which were made available to O’Brien and his attorneys, as well as the judge’s questioning of Trump’s claims, the case was dismissed. Trump appealed and lost that case, as well.
O’Brien was found, legally, to be telling the truth about Trump’s exaggerated income and wealth. O’Brien’s claims were found to be supported by Trump’s tax returns.
‘I think there’s very practical things in those documents that Trump doesn’t want to produce because they’re going to undermine a whole series of claims and remarks he’s made on the campaign trail over the last year.’
The most important claim made by Donald Trump throughout his campaign that O’Brien’s book and Trump’s actual tax returns debunk is Trump’s claims that he is a viable candidate for the presidency due to his enormous success as a wealthy, billionaire businessman. O’Brien, however, estimates that his total net value is around $250 million, far from the $10 billion Trump likes to claim.
Although O’Brien cannot discuss specific revelations in the tax return due to legal agreements, he also points to Trump’s exaggerations of his own philanthropy as a reason for The Donald to keep those returns private. In fact, O’Brien says that there is very little evidence that Trump has been involved in giving to charities or performing philanthropic work, and that in Trump’s home state of New York, he is specifically known to not give to charities.
Additionally, Trump’s tax returns would reveal just how much of his business success has been reliant on outsourcing manufacturing to other countries and hiring workers from outside the country, which holds up, considering the obvious factual evidence that Trump’s clothing line is made in China and recent revelations about Trump’s applications for workers’ visas in order to staff his resort, Mar-a-lago. For a candidate who consistently preaches about bringing jobs back to America and raising taxes on businesses who outsource, the depths to which Trump has committed similar acts would be disastrous to his campaign.
See the full segment below:
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