Donald Trump and his campaign have responded to leaked pages of his 1995 tax returns, arguing it shows that the Republican presidential candidate understands tax laws very well and is therefore equipped to change them if elected president.
The New York Times published 3 pages of Trump’s tax returns that show the presidential candidate “declared a $916 million loss” in 1995, which the paper claims “could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.”
When asked about the New York Times report, former New York City Mayor and one of Trump’s top advisers, Rudy Giuliani said that it was “genius.”
“My response is he’s a genius,” Rudy Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
“Absolute genius,” the former New York mayor continued. “I mean, the man in ‘The Art of the Deal,’ this is described. First of all, we’re talking about 26 years ago, perfectly legal. We should get that straight immediately. This is a perfectly legal application of the tax code. And he would’ve been fool not to take advantage of it.”
Giuliani continued, comparing Trump’s financial setbacks to the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who both had setbacks but built up success.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, another one of Trump’s closest surrogates, echoed Giuliani on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace.
“The genius of Donald Trump has been to make sure he follows the law,” Christie said.
Trump responded to the report on Sunday morning at 4am.
“I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them.
#failing@nytimes,” he tweeted.
I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. #failing@nytimes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
The Trump campaign also put out an official statement contending that the tax documents were “illegally obtained.”
“The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests,” the campaign said in a statement.
Neither Donald Trump nor his surrogates have confirmed or denied that the findings in the reports are true.
In first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Trump interjected as Clinton was questioning whether or not he pays any federal income tax with the statement “that makes me smart.”
Dean Baquet, the executive editor at the New York Times, said at a Harvard University forum in early September that he’d would be willing to risk jail time to run a story on Donald Trump’s taxes.