Feb 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: N.Y. Times reporters plan fall exposé on Trump's taxes

Cover of "Lucky Loser"

Cover: Penguin Press

New York Times investigative reporters Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner — who in 2018 revealed tax data about then-President Trump that documented widespread tax dodges — will be out Sept. 10 with a book, "Lucky Loser," that draws on new confidential records and insider interviews.

Why it matters: "With the reality check of family financial records and his tax returns as a factual underpinning, we spoke with hundreds of new witnesses and rethought the arc of his life and career," Buettner tells Axios.

The backstory: Craig recalls that the pair started work on "Lucky Loser" — which spans nearly a century of family history, and was edited by the famed Ann Godoff — back in 2020.

  • "I remember watching Joe Biden's inauguration and seeing Donald Trump and his family leave Washington for Mar-a-Lago," Craig says. "I thought Russ and I were about to write a book about a guy who was in the rearview mirror. It quickly became clear that wasn't the case. We have been working nonstop ever since."
  • "We have spent the last three years building upon our prior reporting. We talked to hundreds of people, obtained troves of new documents from different eras of Trump's life, and spent countless hours in courthouses and property record rooms rooting around for new information."

The bottom line: "Over the final era of his business career," Buettner says, "the less his judgment was involved in a project, the greater its chances of success."

  • "For me," Craig adds, "'Lucky Loser' is about journalism, about trying to find the truth. We had an incredibly tricky subject, and it took us years to untangle his lies that got passed down into history as fact. I want people to revel in it — it's a crazy ride. And as they turn the pages, part of me hopes that they see how hard we worked to get it right."

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