Trump Says China is America's Biggest Adversary as Report Shows He Paid Them 188K in Taxes

In a raw cut of an unaired 60 Minutes interview posted to President Donald Trump's Facebook page on Thursday, Trump says China is America's biggest foreign adversary. Although according to recent reports, he paid over a hundred thousand dollars in taxes to China around the same time he paid little to no U.S. income tax.

Trump referred to China as a foe and blamed the country for the coronavirus pandemic, during his interview with 60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl. The interview with Stahl was released on Trump's Facebook page ahead of the new's shows broadcast on Sunday.

"I would say China. They're an adversary. They're a competitor and they're a foe in many ways," Trump said after Stahl asked him who the U.S.' biggest adversary is. "I think what happened was disgraceful. It should never have happened. They should never have allowed this plague to get out of China and go throughout the world to one hundred and eighty-eight countries. It should never have happened."

Although Trump has condemned China for its coronavirus response, he paid the country $188,561 between 2013 and 2015 through a Chinese bank account controlled by his company Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., according to a report published Tuesday by The New York Times.

The Chinese bank account is said to be one of three foreign accounts the president maintains, with the other two located in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

According to the Times, documents also showed that Trump paid no U.S. income taxes for 10 out of 15 years and only $750 in 2016 and 2017, the year he was elected president and the year he took office.

Trump North Carolina rally
US President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns in Gastonia, North Carolina, October 21, 2020. Trump calls China the U.S.'s biggest foreign adversary, during an interview with 60 Minutes. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

Trump Organization lawyer Alan Gartner told the Times that Trump opened a Chinese bank account "in order to pay the local taxes" on business ventures he had hoped to take advantage of in Asia.

"No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive," Garten said. "Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose."

Trump has blamed China for the COVID-19 pandemic and accused the country's government of downplaying the severity of the outbreak from its epicenter in Wuhan. However, the U.S. continues to house more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world.

Trump's handling of the pandemic has been criticized for by public health officials and government leaders who requested concise messaging from the federal government on stay-home orders, mask mandates and social distancing requirements.

The U.S. became the country with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases in late March, just a couple of weeks after the World Health Organization declared the virus a global pandemic.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 8 million coronavirus cases and 222,000 deaths have been confirmed in the U.S., according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.