The president’s most loyal newscasters tried very hard to find a way to put a positive spin on the numbers that showed that Trump lost a total of $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994—so much that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years, according to the report.
“If anything, you read this and you’re like ‘Wow, it’s pretty impressive, all the things that he’s done in his life,’ said breathless host Ainsley Earhardt. “It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”
In a way, she’s right that Trump’s efforts were unmatched at the time. In 1990 and 1991, Trump reported losses of more than $250 million—more than double that of any other high-income individual U.S. taxpayer for those years, according to calculations from the Times.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade chipped in: “He lost a lot of money over the course of 10 years, if you consider a billion dollars a lot of money.”
Kilmeade went on to argue that the numbers make sense when you consider that Trump is a “bold businessman,” and that the numbers simply were simply a “chronicle” of an adventurous risk-taker.
“It’s as if you buy something and it doesn’t pay out right away or ever you’re a loser,” he said. “No, you take shots, you have an opportunity to do things, that’s the way you live. The reason why we all knew Donald Trump’s name is because for 30 years that’s what he did... What do people not understand about he’s a little bit different from most people?”
In his own defense of his business record Wednesday morning, Trump insisted that his suffering of more than $1 billion in business losses was actually part of his plan all along. He argued that his losses created a “tax shelter,” which “almost all real estate developers did” at the time.
But, appearing as a pundit on Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich made the most audacious defense of Trump, saying that the president’s dodgy dealings prove that he was right to bring in huge tax cuts for the wealthy.
“When you lower taxes, there is less reason to have shelters, and when you lower taxes there is less reason to create losses for tax purposes,” said the former House speaker. “So, in a very real way, the Trump tax cuts are vindicated by The New York Times story.”
Imagine what they would have said it Trump had actually been proven to have made a profit.