Donald Trump's tax records leaked in 'bombshell' report

"October surprise?" Leaked tax documents show Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars in 1995.

Someone – not Donald Trump – has released Donald Trump's tax records, something he has famously refused to do during his presidential campaign.

The 1995 tax documents were mailed to the New York Times in an envelope with a return address indicating it was sent from Trump Tower, the Republican's Manhattan headquarters. The identity of the sender is a mystery.

So what do they tell us about Trump's dealings?

According to the Times, the documents show Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995. The paper explains that such a "substantial" tax deduction would have allowed Trump to escape paying federal taxes for up to 18 years.

The Times says the never-before-seen records "reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump...derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s" through mismanagement of several business ventures, including three Atlantic City casinos.

It should be pointed out that the documents show no evidence of wrongdoing; however, there's already quite a fallout over the leak.

In a statement issued on social media, the Hillary Clinton campaign called it a "bombshell report," saying it reveals "the colossal nature of Donald Trump's past business failures," and that the Republican "stiffed small businesses, (and) laid off workers," only to turn around and "avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades."

All this, the campaign said, "while tens of millions of working families paid theirs."

Clinton is now calling on Trump to start releasing his tax returns.

Trump's reaction

The Trump campaign issued a response to the New York Times, explaining that “Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Trump is threatening to sue the Times, the paper says.

The candidate himself has not commented – not directly, anyway. But he has put out a tweet or two, including this one:

As to what it could all mean for the intensifying presidential race (which is over in less than five weeks), an observation from Politico may sum it up best: "it puts an exclamation point on what was already one of the worst weeks for any presidential candidate in recent memory," with Trump having received poor reviews for his performance in the first presidential debate.

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