The newspaper got hold of copies of the president's old income tax returns just as his Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to give up his more recent filings from 2013 to 2018 to the House Ways and Means Committee, telling chairman Richard Neal there was no "legitimate legislative purpose" compelling him to do so.
But Fox News, the president's favourite broadcaster and leading apologist, moved fast to downplay the significance of Trump's commercial misfires.
As this montage from Media Matters makes clear, the channel scrambled to excuse the president, deploying its big beast pundits from Sean Hannity to Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and the Fox and Friends sofa-dwellers to dismiss the Times' story as insignificant, spinning it to Trump's advantage and claiming it was all just more evidence of the "never-ending smear campaign" against the president from the left-leaning "Fake News Media".
Here’s how Fox News reacted to Trump's billion-dollar losses:
"Trump has the best accountants in the world"
"Americans don't care about his tax returns from 30 years ago," declared former Arkansas governor Huckabee. A man who it's fair to say may have conflicted interests: his own daughter is the president's press secretary.
The network praised Trump for the shrewdness of his accountants and his boldness as an entrepreneur and risk-taker.
The rest of America joined Schwartz in scoffing at his ever-more-laughable presentation of himself as an investment titan and builder of worlds.