It was a strong warning from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump on Sunday: you’re going to have to pay your fair share of taxes. It’s an echo of what the Republican nominee’s opponents have been saying throughout the election process. As voters have repeatedly called for Trump to release his tax returns, as has become a tradition for candidates, he has refused to do so. The has caused speculation on exactly what might be in those documents.
Now, with the public speculating about whether the real estate mogul and reality star has paid any federal income taxes at all since 1995, Bernie Sanders, former candidate for the Democratic party nomination and now a supporter of Hillary Clinton, is speaking out, telling Trump “and his friends” that it’s time for them to pay their share.
On Sunday, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren scheduled a day of rallying support behind Clinton, now the Democratic nominee. Sanders wasn’t too busy, though, for a few tweets about the political process and Donald Trump’s taxes.
What are the facts about Trumps taxes?
He has said he won’t release any tax information because he’s being audited by the IRS, and that he will do so afterward. Donald Trump has specifically denied holding tax information back until after the election, asserting that he will release it whenever the audit is complete.
NPR reports, however, that tax experts say it is quite all right for Trump to release his tax information during an audit (though they also concede that his legal counsel might advise him not to do so).
Then Politifact took on the claim that Trump “hasn’t paid a penny” in income taxes, noting that the documents he has made public in the past show at least two years in which Donald Trump did not pay federal income taxes — but that they also demonstrate that in at least three years (in the mid 1970s) he did.
Most recently relevant, however, is a document the New York Times uncovered, showing Trump claiming a loss of $916 million — enough that he might have legally avoided paying any federal income taxes in the 18 years following.
Did he do so?
In the presidential debate last week, he answered: “Of course I did.”
Trump went on to assert that many of Clinton’s supporters, including Warren Buffett, use the same law to avoid paying federal income tax. Buffett responded, according to Washington Post, releasing tax documents of his own, and calling Trump out — saying he has never used that rule to avoid paying taxes.
It’s not the first time Bernie Sanders has called out Trump with regard to income taxes. Earlier this month, Bernie said that Donald Trump “doesn’t pay a nickel” and that when — not if — Hillary Clinton is elected, Trump wil have to pay his fair share.
Donald Trump isn’t responding to Bernie Sanders’ latest warnings, though. He’s currently on damage control after a series of allegations of sexual assault. These surfaced after Trump responded to a leaked recording of him bragging about kissing and grabbing women without permission. In the recent debate, he asserted that this was just talk, and that he had never actually acted on these words. Several women say they felt the need to tell their stories after his denial.
Donald Trump’s current social media activity centers around calling the election “rigged” and asserting that the stories from alleged victims are made up.
Even if the recording is just words and doesn’t describe actual actions, Bernie Sanders has a message for Donald Trump on that front, too.
[Featured Image by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)