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‘It was all a hoax’: NYT destroys Donald Trump’s claims of business success in second blockbuster on his taxes

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NBC's The Apprentice

President Donald Trump’s tax returns have resulted in a second bombshell story by The New York Times.

“From the back seat of a stretch limousine heading to meet the first contestants for his new TV show “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump bragged that he was a billionaire who had overcome financial hardship. ‘I used my brain, I used my negotiating skills and I worked it all out,” he told viewers. “Now, my company is bigger than it ever was and stronger than it ever was.’ It was all a hoax,” the newspaper reported Monday evening.

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“Months after that inaugural episode in January 2004, Mr. Trump filed his individual tax return reporting $89.9 million in net losses from his core businesses for the prior year. The red ink spilled from everywhere, even as American television audiences saw him as a savvy business mogul with the Midas touch. Twelve years later, that image of the self-made, self-saved mogul, beamed into the national consciousness, would help fuel Mr. Trump’s improbable election to the White House,” The Times reported.

“But while the story of “The Apprentice” is by now well known, the president’s tax returns reveal another grand twist that has never been truly told — how the popularity of that fictional alter ego rescued him, providing a financial lifeline to reinvent himself yet again. And then how, in an echo of the boom-and-bust cycle that has defined his business career, he led himself toward the financial shoals he must navigate today. Mr. Trump’s genius, it turned out, wasn’t running a company. It was making himself famous — Trump-scale famous — and monetizing that fame,” the newspaper reported.

The NBC show “The Apprentice” made Trump over $400 million.

“By analyzing the tax records, The New York Times was able to place a value on Mr. Trump’s celebrity. While the returns show that he earned some $197 million directly from ‘The Apprentice’ over 16 years — roughly in line with what he has claimed — they also reveal that an additional $230 million flowed from the fame associated with it,” the newspaper reported.

When contacted, the Trump campaign complained about the newspaper reporting on Trump’s finances before Tuesday’s debate.

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“In response to a request for comment, a White House spokesman, Judd Deere, did not dispute any specific facts,” the newspaper reported. “Instead, he delivered a broad attack, calling the article ‘fake news’ and ‘yet another politically motivated hit piece full of inaccurate smears’ appearing ‘before a presidential debate.'”

Regardless, the newspaper provided details.

“This article is based on an examination of data from those returns, which include personal and business tax filings for Mr. Trump and his companies spanning more than two decades. Every dollar is disclosed for the first time: $8,768,330 paid to him by ACN, a multilevel marketing company that was accused of taking advantage of vulnerable investors; $50,000 from the Lifetime channel for a “juicy nighttime soap” that never materialized; $5,026 in net income from a short-lived mortgage business; and $15,286,244 from licensing his name to a line of mattresses,” the newspaper reported. “Mr. Trump was not terribly discriminating in his choice of endorsements. He slapped his name on everything from steaks and vodka to a board game and cologne.”

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2020 Election

GOP senator offended LDS community after likening Trump to a ‘selfless’ Book of Mormon hero: report

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Politics and religion are colliding out west after comments a Republican senator made while stumping for the president.

"Sen. Mike Lee drew criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week after comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni, a heroic and selfless figure in the Book of Mormon," The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening.

"To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni," Lee (R-UT) said, pointing to Trump. "He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the ‘fake news,’ but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people."

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2020 Election

Al Franken warns voters Mitch McConnell ‘is not as charming as he looks’ on HBO’s ‘Real Time’

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Former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) showed off the sense of rumor that put him on "Saturday Night Live" during a Friday night appearance on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher.

The two politically-minded comedians had a fascinating debate on what would happen if President Donald Trump refuses to leave office on January 20, 2021.

Franken said that would be a good thing, as it would mean Trump lost and would be escorted from the premises. Maher, however, had far less faith in America's institutions.

The two agreed to disagree on the topic.

Franken urged viewers to vote for Democrats in Senate races, warning that if Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remains in power he would block everything a potential Joe Biden administration might try to accomplish.

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2020 Election

HBO’s Bill Maher takes on ‘Trump thugs’ and super-spreader rallies in final ‘Real Time’ before the election

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher reviewed the latest news on the Friday night before 2020 election.

"Four days until the election," he noted. "As Stormy Daniels once said, 'Let's just get this over with!'"

He noted the huge turnout and said, "the Supreme Court said some of the votes may even be counted."

"Trump has not been this scared of the mail since the draft," he joked.

Maher also took on the "Trump thugs" and counseled voters on an obscene comment they could say to MAGA poll watchers.

The host also discussed Trump's super-spreader events and the COVID-19 outbreak in the White House.

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