Two tax attorneys for Donald Trump have claimed that the US President’s only income from Russian sources include fees for hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013 and selling a Florida mansion to a Russian businessman, the media reported. The statements were contained in a letter from lawyers Sheri A Dillon and William F Nelson and released by the White House on Friday, reports The Washington Post. The lawyers said that their analysis came from a review of Trump’s tax returns for the past 10 years. However, they did not release the returns or provide any documents to support their claims.
According to the letter, income from the Miss Universe pageant made up a “substantial portion” of the $12.2 million in foreign income that Trump reported in 2013. The lawyers also noted that he sold a home in Palm Beach, Florida, to a Russian buyer in 2008 for $95 million, $54 million more than he had purchased the home for in 2005. They also said Trump had earned an “immaterial” amount in sales of real estate and other products to Russians, transactions that would not be reflected on his tax returns. With those exceptions, they said, Trump’s returns do not reflect “any income of any type from Russian sources”, The Washington Post reported.
The letter also asserted that Trump holds no debt from Russian lenders and holds no equity in Russian entities. They further explained that because of the way that Trump operates his businesses, his corporate income and debt would be disclosed on his personal tax returns.
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Trump has come under continuous scrutiny over his possible ties to Russia which he has denied and is now also facing massive criticism for firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James B. Comey. Comey was leading an investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 election and exploring whether any Trump associates had been involved.