Mark Cuban questions whether Donald Trump ever had a billion dollars to lose -- and he thinks the Republican presidential nominee owes voters an explanation about why he potentially paid no taxes for two decades.
The investor and NBA team owner is an outspoken critic of Trump, but he does not think his fellow reality TV star necessarily broke any laws by failing to pay taxes after claiming a $915 million loss in 1995, as the New York Times reported.
Cuban said there's no evidence that Trump ever had that much of his own money to lose, saying it's much more likely that the GOP candidate had about $100 million of his own money invested in the company that bears his name and borrowed the rest.
"The key question, after showing a $915 million loss, is how much money does he owe still, who does he owe it to, was that debt forgiven -- because if it was forgiven, that's going to eat up that net operating loss," Cuban said. "Debt forgiveness is the same as income."
"He hasn't explained any of those things in any way, shape or form," Cuban added. "That's a problem."
Trump had no obligation to pay any more taxes than the law required, Cuban said -- but he had failed to take responsibility for himself and his business.
"The problem with Donald Trump and why he's unfit to be president, is that he won't own his mistakes," Cuban said. "We all make mistakes. I've had companies go belly-up. I say it all the time: It doesn't matter how many times you fail, you only have to be right one time and everybody will tell you how lucky you are. Just own the mistake and explain it."
He wondered why Trump was so ashamed of his own record.
"The problem is there's no transparency, and he won't own his mistakes, and we don't want someone like that who's ashamed of what they've done in the business world," Cuban said.
Trump has bragged that his failure to pay taxes makes him a "smart" businessman, but Cuban said that made him a poor citizen.
"That's just wrong," Cuban said. "I say it all the time: After military service, the most patriotic thing you can do as a wealthy person is pay your taxes, because that keeps the roads paved, the military paid and kids going to school. He obviously doesn't understand the concept."
Mark Cuban responds to a report that Donald Trump may have legally avoided paying taxes for about two decades https://t.co/mwkQ1f7nVr— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 3, 2016