Why did Donald Trump destroy his brand

US President's tax files: The Trump brand has been destroyed

The tax revelations are not only threatening to Trump because they reduce his chances of remaining president. He is even threatened with investigations.

The tax files show: Without the reality show "The Apprentice" Trump would be broke (scene from 2006) Photo: NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection / imago

US President Donald Trump knew exactly why he refused to publish his tax information. You are embarrassed. You describe a "billionaire" who has no billions at all, only debts. They prove that the “businessman” Trump only owns companies that are not profitable. They show a president who enriches himself in office. And they document how Trump lies to the tax authorities in order not to pay taxes. For the vast majority of years, Trump paid fewer taxes than normal families. Many voters will not forgive him for that.

It shouldn't be a coincidence that the New York Times Trump's tax data has now been launched, as the first television duel between Trump and the Democratic challenger Joe Biden is due on Tuesday. Even so, it is far more than just a cheap campaign trick that Trump's tax data is now published. In the US, it is customary for all presidents to disclose their tax returns - which is why Trump was litigated for years.

The tax files are not only threatening for Trump because they further reduce his chances of becoming president again. The real problem for Trump is that they are finally destroying the "Trump" brand. Because image was everything with Trump - it was the only good he could sell successfully.

The tax files clearly show that Trump would have been bankrupt long ago - if he hadn't been lucky enough to be hired by the US television broadcaster NBC in the reality show "The Apprentice" in 2004. Trump played the successful billionaire there, which promptly flushed millions of dollars in advertising income and licensing agreements into his coffers. Trump's presidency also aimed primarily to increase his profile - and to make money again.

This plan will no longer work. Because the tax files show that Trump is a "loser". But losers are not attractive - neither for voters nor for advertisers. It's going to be tough for Trump. Really hard.