"WASHINGTON — President Trump’s lawyers say his income tax returns do not show income from Russian sources or debt owed to Russians, with the exception of $95 million paid by a Russian billionaire for a Trump-owned estate in Florida and $12.2 million in payments in connection with holding the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.
The statements are contained in a letter from two lawyers, Sheri A. Dillon and William F. Nelson, to Mr. Trump, which the White House released Friday. The president cited the letter in an interview with Lester Holt of NBC News, amid a political firestorm over his firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, as proof that there were no hidden financial ties between Mr. Trump and Russia.
In addition to the Florida estate and the beauty pageant, the lawyers said Mr. Trump had received undisclosed payments over 10 years from Russians for hotel rooms, rounds of golf or Trump-licensed products, like wine, ties or mattresses. But they said those amounts were “immaterial” and would not have been identified as coming from Russian sources in the tax returns.
The lawyers noted that their statement covers only the period dating back a decade, after their firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, began representing Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization. It leaves other questions unanswered, including whether Mr. Trump or his firms received Russian income or loans from entities registered elsewhere or whether he derived income from Russian-linked partnerships that file their own returns.
“This is an artfully written letter, covering a limited time period,” said David Cay Johnston, an expert on taxes and a former New York Times reporter who has written extensively about Mr. Trump. “Much of what we need to know about Trump and Russian money — and that includes money from Kazakhstan, Turkey and other places where Russian oligarchs operate — involves transactions prior to 10 years ago.”
Trump Lawyers Say He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With Some Exceptions - The New York Times
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