'Trump is a phony': Veteran journalist tears into president's decades-long scam
(Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Journalist David Corn has been tweeting out a request for President Donald Trump's tax returns almost every day since the 2016 election, and his wish finally came true -- kind of.

The Mother Jones reporter said the New York Times report revealed Trump was no business genius, but had conned the U.S. government for years.

"The tax returns were always an appropriate focus for attention," Corn wrote. "Trump’s steadfast refusal to release them was an early sign that Trump believed rules and norms do not apply to him."

Republicans never pressured Trump to follow a decades-old precedent and release his tax returns, which Corn said offered a preview of their refusal to hold the president accountable.

"Trump’s trashing of this tradition was troubling, for, as a business owner with interests around the world, his tax returns were important for assessing his actual or potential conflicts of interest," Corn wrote. "They were also important for evaluating his sales pitch. He contended that because he was a super successful, deal-making billionaire, he was qualified to be president of the United States."

But the problem is, Corn said, none of that is true.

"The finances of the Trump Organization were opaque," he wrote. "Trump used literally hundreds of separate companies to do business — and voters had no way of knowing whether he was bullsh*tting them. His tax returns were one of the few ways to objectively judge this novice politician. They could be the corrective to his I-am-the-greatest propaganda. They also could reveal a crucial element for any politician, let one seeking the highest office in the land: is he or she honest?"

The Times wasn't able to determine how much Trump is worth or prove any crimes, but they confirmed he had paid virtually nothing in taxes for the past 18 years while running up a staggering $421 million debt he must repay before the end of a prospective second term.

"This revelation underscores that Trump is a phony," Corn wrote. "That he cannot be trusted. That he is not the success he claims to be. This is the curtain that Trump never wanted pulled back. With the assorted, immediate, and dire threats facing the nation — the coronavirus crisis, the economic downturn, social injustice, climate change, and more — the compelling question of the moment is whether the country can effectively confront these challenges with a scoundrel in the White House."