When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president last summer, he did so by touting the fact that he's a self-funding billionaire. For years, Trump has been known as an extremely wealthy individual, but little is known about the details of his finances.

Trump's Russian ties

Over the last 40 years, every presidential candidate has released at least their most recent years' tax return. It's become routine since 1976, but the 2016 election has changed the direction of American politics. When pressed on when he would release his Tax returns, Trump often deflects from the question, claiming a current audit from the IRS is preventing him from making them public.

When the IRS clarified that an audit wouldn't prevent a person from releasing their returns, Trump only continued to pushback. In a report by ABC News on September 23, a new finding shows Trump's finances directly linked to money men in Russia.

The ABC News investigation found that Trump has "numerous connections to Russian interests both in the U.S. and abroad," which many believe is why he refuses to release his tax information. According to the head of a major United States/Russian business group, Sergei Millian, "The level of business amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars" between the former host of "The Apprentice" and the corporate world in Russia.

Trump's numerous business deals include projects in Toronto, as well as being paid by a Russian billionaire to hold the Miss Universe pageant in Russia.

The report contradicts a tweet sent out by Trump earlier this summer when he said, "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia." Trump has long said that if he were to become president, he would let his family run his private businesses, which appear to have many investments in the country run by President Vladimir Putin.

Bromance

Trump's relationship with Putin has been criticized in recent weeks after the Republican nominee appeared to praise him during a presidential forum earlier this month. Despite denying any relationship with the Russian president, the Hillary Clinton campaign have been quick to use the controversy to their advantage.

Moving forward

Trump's refusal to release his returns would normally doom any candidate running for president, but the billionaire real estate mogul continues to find a way to weather the storm. In the latest Real Clear Politics rolling average, Trump is just three points behind Clinton on a national level, and has pulled ahead in the key swing states of Ohio and Florida. Despite his recent bounce back, Trump is still considered the underdog due to his struggles with Hispanics, women, and African-Americans.

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