Donald Trump’s “accountant” is clearly fictional

On Tuesday, the president took time out of his busy trip to Asia—whose itinerary includedmaking rambling speeches about North Korea and looking at things—to woo Senate Democrats to support the Republican tax plan. According toThe Washington Post, Trump claimed that it benefited the middle class at the expense of wealthy people like him, despite the fact that pretty much every study indicates that is not true.

Trump told the senators that he has spoken to his own accountant about the tax plan and that he would be a “big loser” if the deal is approved as written, according to multiple people in the room who heard the president on the phone.

“The deal is so bad for rich people, I had to throw in the estate tax just to give them something,” Trump said, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the meeting.

In fact, repealing the estate tax has been a major Republican goal for decades. The Bush tax cuts phased it out, though the 2010 deal between Barack Obama and congressional Republicans brought it back. And it is just the cherry on the top of the enormous sundae the super-rich will get from this bill if it passes.

But what’s even more ridiculous is this alleged conversation with his accountant. If this conversation really happened, Trump’s accountant is the worst accountant in America—a number-cruncher who isn’t able to parse even basic economic information. Instead, it appears to be a textbook Trump fib. Just like Trump’s friend “Jim,” who complained that Paris used to be great but now has too many Muslims, his accountant, who we could call “Jim 2,” exists to make an outrageous point seem plausible.

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