President Trump lambasted a New York Times report that said he had paid no federal income taxes for ten of the past 15 years “fake news.”

“It’s fake news, it’s totally made up,” Trump said on Sunday during a press briefing less than an hour after the story broke in the newspaper.

“Everything was wrong, they are so bad.”

According to the report, Trump, who has guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid $750 in taxes to the federal government the year he was elected and $750 again his first year in office.

The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday and a divisive election.

Trump, whose net worth is claimed to be in the billions, denied that he paid such a small amount in taxes.

“I’ve paid a lot and I’ve paid a lot of state income taxes too,” he said.

Even before being elected to the White House in 2016, Trump was heavily criticised for not releasing his taxes. He has claimed multiple times that he is under a routine audit by the IRS and will release his filings once the audit is over.

“I’m under audit,” Trump said Sunday. “They’re doing an assessment.”

A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, stated: “He has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

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