Trump on his debt and taxes: ‘I don’t owe money to any of these sinister people’

President Trump on Thursday said that he doesn't "owe money to any of these sinister people" when asked about his personal debts and tax returns.

Video Transcript

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: On the subject of taxes, as you know, "The New York Times" has obtained, it says, years of your tax returns. Among other things, it says that you have debts of approximately $421 million that you have personally guaranteed and that will come due in the next four years. The question is, on behalf of voters, who do you owe $421 million to?

DONALD TRUMP: First of all, let me answer, what they did is illegal, number one. Also, the numbers are all wrong, with the numbers they released. And just so you understand, when you have a lot of real estate-- I have real estate, you know a lot of it, OK? Right down the road, Doral-- big stuff, great stuff.

I'm very under-- when I decided to run, I'm very under levered, fortunately, but I'm very under leverage. I have a very, very small percentage of debt compared-- in fact, some of it, I did as favors to institutions that wanted to loan me money. $400 million compared to the assets that I have, all of these great properties all over the world? And frankly, the Bank of America building in San Francisco, I don't love what's happening to San Francisco--

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: If I hear you right, it sounds like you're saying $400 million isn't that much.

DONALD TRUMP: --it's one of the biggest office buildings.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Are you-- you are you confirming that, yes, you do owe some $400 million?

DONALD TRUMP: What I'm saying is that it's a tiny percentage of my net worth.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: That sounds like yes.

DONALD TRUMP: And you'll see that soon because we're doing things-- you know, we've given, I think it's 108 or 112 pages of financial detail to Elections. And you know, we have to file. As the president, as any politician, you have to file. Nobody ever looks at that. When they do, they see how incredible the company is. But more importantly, they see where this debt is. No, I don't owe Russia money. I don't owe-- I owe a very, very small-- it's called mortgages. People have a house, they got a mortgage.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Any foreign bank? Any foreign entity?

DONALD TRUMP: Not-- no, but probably, because it's so easy to solve, and if you'd like to do it, I will let you know who I owe whatever small amount of money. I want to say two things. Number one, it's a very small amount of money. Number two, it's very straight, it's very, very straight. But it's a tiny percentage of the worth. Did you ever hear the expression, under levered?


DONALD TRUMP: I am extremely under levered.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Here's the thing, you can clear this up tonight by just releasing your tax returns yourself. I mean--

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you what--

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I think people are just wondering--

DONALD TRUMP: --as you know, I'm under levered. It turned out that I am under audit. They actually-- excuse me, no, no.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: But the IRS says that doesn't stop you from releasing--

DONALD TRUMP: You accused me of not being under audit previously--

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Not being under audit?

DONALD TRUMP: --and so didn't other people at NBC. And I am under audit. So that is solved. I am under audit. No person in their right mind would release, prior to working out the deal with the IRS. And I'll go a step further-- I'm treated very badly by the IRS. They treat me very, very badly.

You have people in there from previous administrations. They treat me very badly. But we are under audit. It's very routine in many ways, but we're under audit. They like to change the game, change the rules to everything. You saw what they did with the Tea Party people. You saw what they did with religious people.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Just to be clear, there is no law or rule that prohibits you from releasing your tax returns.

DONALD TRUMP: No, except common sense and intelligence, and having lawyers who say-- because I would love to release them. And as soon as we come to a conclusion, I will release them and very gladly. But if you go to Elections and if you take a look, you'll see 112-- I think it's 112-- it talks about the income, which is rather massive. It talks about all of the properties, they have them listed. You can never learn more.

But you know what happened? People went there-- all the reporters went there, it was like a feeding frenzy. This was originally when I filed it. And I file it every year. I update it every year. My son is here, they run the company. I don't run the company. You know--

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: It also says that you paid $750 in taxes in the year you were elected. Is that true?

DONALD TRUMP: It's a statutory number, it's a statutory number.


DONALD TRUMP: I think it's a filing number. You pay $750-- it's filing number or a filing thing.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Is that on the page? Then most people here probably pay for it.

DONALD TRUMP: I don't know. I can tell you this-- if they have my tax returns, as you know, they have to go to jail. It's illegal. But their numbers were wrong. But let me tell you what else-- I don't owe money to any of these sinister people. This has been going on for years now. Russia, Russia, Russia, it turned out to be a hoax. And it turned out to be that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were dealing with Russia, not me. It's a whole hoax.

So I would not mind at all saying who it is, but it's very small. When you look at vast properties like I have, and they're big, and they're beautiful, and they're well located, when you look at that, the amount of money-- $400 million is a peanut. It's extremely under levered. And it's levered with normal banks. Not a big deal.