Tony Schwartz, who penned Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” said even he was surprised by the “sheer brazenness” of Trump’s behavior, remarking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that it revealed the “kind of mind that would think ‘I can get away with paying no taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars in income.'”

The publication of the deeply reported article, based on more than two decades of his tax information obtained by The Times, comes just two days before the first presidential debate and 37 days before an election in which he is trailing Democrat Joe Biden. It poses a grave challenge to a presidency that we now know Trump may need to preserve to outrun creditors with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans soon coming due.

It leaves the President facing multiple questions about his morals, behavior — and patriotism since he appears to be paying more in taxes to several foreign nations than he is to Uncle Sam. The reporting also raises the possibility that Trump’s deceptive accounting, already the focus of several investigations in New York, could open him up to serious legal issues when he leaves office.

The Times report, for instance, says that the President has been battling the Internal Revenue Service for years over whether losses he claimed should have resulted in a staggering tax refund of $73 million.