Some Reasons Why Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You to See His Taxes
Timothy L. O'Brien in Conversation with Andrew Keen on the Keen On Podcast
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On today’s episode, Timothy L. O’Brien, award-winning journalist and author of Trumpnation: The Art of Being the Donald, discusses the absurdity of Donald Trump in office.
From the episode:
Andrew Keen: Tim, what does your experience in and out of court with Trump tell you about his obsessive sensibility and secrecy over his taxes? Why doesn’t he want us to know his taxes?
Timothy O’Brien: As you know I saw the taxes—during the course of litigation those documents were given to us under protective orders. I’m not allowed to discuss the specifics of what I saw in there, but I can discuss generally.
Two reasons are more germane now and probably more front of mind for him now than some of the other ones. First and foremost, it would show that he’s not as charitable as he’s always claimed to be. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Right. They shed some light on details about some of his domestic business dealings that he wouldn’t want revealed.
But I think two of the big reasons for him is, one, it would show that his businesses overall just aren’t as robust as he has claimed them to be. That’s always been his calling card. His identity is very wrapped up in being a member of the multi-billionaire club, which he just simply isn’t. Then secondarily and most important, I think right now in terms of his presidency, it would show sources of foreign income, which is a very important little number in the world right now.
Looming over Trump’s head from the moment he began campaigning through his inauguration to this very day is this question about the degree to which his financial entanglements, overseas or domestically, have shaped both his policymaking, his refusal to authentically distance himself from his companies, and his odd, perverse and damaging dances with autocrats like Vladimir Putin and so on and so forth.
Timothy L. O’Brien is an award-winning author and journalist with more than 20 years of experience at leading media enterprises, including Bloomberg LP, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and HuffPost. He’s currently the executive editor of Bloomberg LP’s two premier public policy, politics and business commentary platforms: View and Gadfly. O’Brien edited a series on wounded war veterans that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. He’s also the recipient of a 1999 Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism and is the author of three books. He was a reporter and a senior editor at The New York Times, where he oversaw the Sunday Business section and helped lead a team of reporters that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Public Service for a series of articles about the 2008 financial crisis. The same series received a Loeb Award in 2009. O’Brien is the author of two non-fiction books—TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald and Bad Bet: The Inside Story of the Glamour, Glitz and Danger of America’s Gambling Industry. He is also the author of an historical novel, The Lincoln Conspiracy. Donald Trump sued O’Brien for libel in 2006. Trump lost.