The New York Times report on President Donald Trump's tax record further split Americans on the eve of the first presidential debate, and five weeks before the presidential election.
The opinions of experts Al Jazeera spoke with ranged from exaggerating the value of Trump's tax evasion case, while others asserted that the issue is nothing but a whirlwind in a cup, and it will not have any impact on President Trump's presidential fortunes.
The New York Times revealed that President Trump only paid $ 750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, after reporting for years that his businesses had incurred heavy losses in order to balance hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Trump denied the authenticity of this report during a White House press conference, describing it as "completely false news."
He justified his failure to disclose his tax record to the US tax agency continuing to audit and review these records.
Trump is currently fighting a court battle with New York City prosecutors and Democrats in Congress who are seeking his revenue.
Trump at one of his election rallies in Wisconsin (Reuters)
Republicans: No comment
It should be noted that US law does not require presidents or candidates to publish details of their financial statements.
Yet all presidents since the early 1970s under President Richard Nixon have taken this step.
Any comments on the Trump tax issue disappeared from the accounts of Republican congressional leaders who chose to focus their efforts to promote Judge Amy Barrett, who was nominated by Trump to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
As for the Democrats, they focused on Trump's tax evasion charge, and demanded that the president disclose the details of his financial accounts to the American people.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Representative in the House of Representatives laughed, tweeting, “During 2016 and 2017, I paid thousands of dollars annually in taxes on my income from working as a waitress in a restaurant, while Trump paid $ 750. Waitresses and illegal immigrants contributed more than they did. With him Trump. Donald Trump did not care about our country at all ... He only cared about himself and his interests, a crook president. "
In 2016 & '17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes * as a bartender. *
Trump paid $ 750.
He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants.
Donald Trump has never cared for our country more than he cares for himself.
A walking scam.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 28, 2020
George Cougar, head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami, Florida, spoke to Al Jazeera Net about these developments, saying, "This information will only have a major impact if it is spread widely among the voters and supporters of President Trump."
For his part, Geoffrey Cabaservis, historian and director of research at the Niskman Institute, indicated in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that it is not envisaged that these developments affect Trump's electoral fortunes.
Cabaservis said, "I do not imagine that the New York Times revelation related to Trump's taxes will change the voters' convictions about President Trump. The groups supporting President Trump do not care about his tax issue, nor about his personal and moral failure, this will not change their belief in Trump at all."
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Stephen Rogers, a member of President Trump's campaign advisers committee, indicated that these anti-President Trump reports may have the opposite effect and harm Democrats.
Rogers said, "This issue will not affect President Trump's campaign strategy, and there is nothing to hide ... his stance has been consistent and clear all the time on the fact that his finances are under review. The issue is not worth all the inconvenience caused by the Democrats, and it will undoubtedly affect it." At the end. "
The legend of the businessman
However, George Cougar believes that the importance of the New York Times report stems from "highlighting Trump's weakness in the face of foreign influence, whether because of his large personal debts or because his companies have received large inflows of foreign aid, and this shatters the myth of being a successful businessman because he is in fact broke." Desperately in debt. "
And he added, "However, it is unclear to what extent this information will spread, reach all Trump supporters or affect their voices."
Jeffrey Cabaservis agreed with this proposition, telling Al Jazeera Net that he “does not believe that Trump's tax evasion reports will affect his election campaign at all. Trump will continue to say the same sentences and phrases related to any questions about his taxes as he has done over the past 4 years, the first of which is that the New York report. The Times is false and incorrect, and the second is that the tax agency is treating him in a very bad way, and finally if he pays little taxes, this indicates that he is a very intelligent person. "
The first presidential debate, which will bring together Trump and Joe Biden at Case Western University in Ohio, is expected to address the Trump tax issue.
Debate moderator Chris Wallace did not comment on news of Trump's tax evasion report on his social media accounts.