Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Politics

WAUWATOSA, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 03: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden participate in a conversation with parents and educators September 3, 2020 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Biden met with family members of Jacob Blake earlier in the day and said Blake joined the meeting by phone from his hospital bed. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers and left paralyzed, further inflaming racial tensions across the U.S. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) —Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, have released more of their personal tax returns ahead of the first presidential debate.

The Bidens’ returns show the couple paid almost $300,000 in federal taxes in 2019, including almost $288,000 in personal income tax. The Bidens reported taxable income of $944,737.

The release on Tuesday comes just days after The New York Times reported that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president, and again in 2017, his first year in office. The Times said Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the 15 years before that.

Biden and Trump are set to meet Tuesday night in Cleveland for their first presidential debate, and Trump’s taxes are sure to come up.

Trump has called the reports “fake news” yet still refuses to release his returns himself. Biden already had released two decades’ worth of his tax returns, in addition to the federal financial disclosures required of him when he was a senator and vice president.

Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their 2019 returns Tuesday. Harris and Emhoff reported paying $1.05 million in personal income taxes and $1.19 million in total federal taxes on $3.02 million in taxable income.

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time in Cleveland.

President Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning in informal preparations for the first debate with Joe Biden. A longer, more formal preparation session was set for the afternoon once he arrives in Cleveland.

Trump’s prep team includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, campaign communications strategist Jason Miller, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and communications director Alyssa Farah. Some other advisers like Dan Scavino and Hope Hicks have also been involved.

While Trump is itching to go on the offense against Biden, some aides have encouraged him to adopt a more measured tone — believing that in many ways the debates are more about Trump vs himself than Biden. Trump, they argue, should focus more on selling his accomplishments than trying to viciously attack Biden. Some involved with the preparations, though, have encouraged Trump’s more aggressive ‘counterpunching’ side.

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