Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and reality show star, is not a fan of paying taxes for two specific reasons.
The brash businessman is currently the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out today confirms that going into Thursday night's debate on the Fox News Channel, Trump is leading on a national basis with the GOP and GOP-leaning electorate over his closest rivals, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in a field that includes 17 candidates to date.
Separately, on Friday, Trump sued a celebrity chef for $10 million for bailing on running a new restaurant at a Washington, D.C., luxury hotel Trump is building. Earlier this month, Chef Jose Andres announced he was walking away from the project because of Trump's controversial comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico. Trump is also suing Univision for $500 million after the Spanish-language network similarly pulled the plug on broadcasting the July 12 Miss USA Pageant.
When asked by a CBS News Face the Nation interviewer this morning about the percentage of his income that he pays in taxes, The Donald responded forcefully and candidly about his enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for writing a check to the IRS.
"I've said this many times, so it's not exactly breaking news, I pay as little as possible. I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons. Number one, I'm a businessman. And that's the way you're supposed to do it, and you put the money back into your company and employees, and all of that. But the other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse. And I hate it. And I'll be probably the first candidate in the history of politics within this country to say I try … like every single taxpayer out there, I try to pay as little tax as possible, and again one of the big reasons is I hate what our country does with the money that we pay."In the same CBS interview, Trump also linked the possible release of his tax returns to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat nominee for 2016, releasing more of her emails. The former Secretary of State is engulfed in a huge controversy over using a private email server to conduct government business, a practice that Trump has denounced and that he insists should be subject to a criminal prosecution.
Although Donald Trump is now seeking the presidency as a Republican, he has, in the past, himself been a registered Democrat and praised many Democrats (including Obama and the Clintons) and advocated for some of their policies, and made cash contributions to their party, as well as donating to the Clinton Foundation. In prior election cycles, he has flirted with mounting a third-party presidential campaign as well as considering a 2012 run as the GOP standard-bearer. The fact that his political views have not been the complete picture of consistency has, so far, yet to diminish the enthusiasm of many Trump-leaning primary voters, however, who are apparently favoring an aggressive, tough-talking populist candidate rather than a professional politician.
Can you relate to Donald Trump, who has vowed to make American great again through his entrepreneurial and negotiating acumen, trying to minimize his tax liability?
[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News]