Trump’s reported massive debt load raises ‘national security question,’ Pelosi says

Trump's reported massive debt load raises 'national security question,' Pelosi says

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s reported massive debts raise “a national security question,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

“This president appears to have over $400 million in debt … To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? So for me, this is a national security question,” Pelosi said in the interview. 

Pelosi’s remarks come after The New York Times published a groundbreaking report Sunday claiming Trump has $421 million of debt coming due soon in addition to an outstanding audit fight with the Internal Revenue Service over a $72.9 million tax refund he previously received.

The report said Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and during his first year in office. Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years, the Times reported based on documents the outlet said it obtained from sources with legal access to the records. 

CNBC has not seen the documents reviewed by the Times. Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten told the Times in a statement that “most, if not all, of the facts” reported appeared to be inaccurate. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pelosi’s remarks.

The Times’ report found no new connections to Russia, though Trump’s business dealings with other countries have been a topic of speculation since his candidacy.

Still, the report found Trump’s businesses paid much more to other countries than he paid in federal income taxes, including $145,400 in India and $156,824 in the Philippines in 2017.

Pelosi called it “strange” that Trump paid much more to other governments than to his own in the same year.

Trump’s tax returns have been the subject of legal battles and speculation since the president broke the long-standing tradition of releasing personal financial statements.

Trump built his political brand as a businessman who could negotiate favorable deals, though the Times report seems to confirm opponents’ suspicions that the president took on massive debt to build his empire. 

Trump is in a re-election battle against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Early voting has begun and Election Day is in 36 days.

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WATCH: President Trump dismisses a New York Times report alleging years of tax avoidance

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