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Trump lashes out at New York Times report alleging years of tax avoidance

The New York Times obtained two decades worth of President Donald Trump's tax information, reporting Sunday that the president only paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and again during his first year in office.

The Times, which said it plans to publish additional stories based on the documents, reported that Trump has not paid any income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, mostly because he reported significant losses. The publication reported that Trump is facing a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $72.9 million tax refund he received that could end up costing him more than $100 million.

The Times also reported that Trump has more than $300 million in loans coming due within the next few years that he is personally responsible for repaying those loans, the publication reported.

The tax documents cover more than two decades, including some of his time as president, but do not include his returns from 2018 and 2019. NBC News has not seen or verified any of the documents reported by The Times.

Trump on Sunday said the story was "totally fake news" and "made up" although he acknowledged he "didn't know anything about the story" ahead of its publication, which came moments before his press conference began.

Asked about the report stating he paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and again in 2017, Trump said he's "paid a lot of money in state" taxes, though he was not specific about how much.

He again pledged to make his taxes public after the completion of an IRS audit, which he has said for years is why he is not making the documents public.

Boosted by a substantial increase in income tied to his celebrity, The Times reported that in the 11 years after "The Apprentice" premiered, the president went on a spending spree unseen since the days prior to his financial demise of the early 1990s. But the publication said the documents revealed that those new ventures and acquisitions contributed to a drag on his bottom line rather than increasing it.

Responding to The Times, a Trump Organization lawyer, Alan Garten, claimed that most of the story was "inaccurate."

“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Mr. Garten said in a statement.

The Times has previously reported on Trump's tax information, having obtained such documents — though far less in quantity — earlier in Trump's presidency.

Trump has waged a coast-to-coast legal battle throughout his presidency in hopes of keeping the tax information hidden from the public. The president is the only in the past 40 years to withhold his taxes from the public, though there is no law requiring presidents to do so.

Though he said he would release the information ahead of the 2016 election, he has since repeatedly cited IRS audits as rationale for continuing to withhold his records.

This summer, Trump assailed a pair of Supreme Court rulings pertaining to his personal financial records, calling them "not fair," though they were not a clear-cut loss for the president.

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