Republican candidate Donald Trump defended his tax history, blaming politicians for the laws that allowed him to avoid taxes, and touts his own financial ability as an advantage that he'll use in the White House.
Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax, The New York Times reported over the weekend, and could have legally avoided federal income taxes for 18 years afterwards.
According to The Washington Times, Trump made no attempt to deny the claims, merely saying his loss kept him from losing his real estate empire when many others did.
"That did not happen by chance or luck. It happened by action and talent — a lot of talent," Trump said while in Pueblo, Colorado at a campaign stop.
"I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit ... Honestly, I have brilliantly used those laws," Trump said, CNN reported. "I face enormous taxes — city, state, sales, excise, employee, federal, VAT, different countries," he continued, saying that as the head of the company, he had a "fiduciary duty … to pay as little tax as legally possible."
Trump's allies echo his defense. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called Trump "a genius," and that "he knows how to operate the tax code for the people that he's serving," the Times reported.
"Don't you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman, and the only thing she's ever produced is a lot of work for the FBI checking out her emails?" he asked in another interview, according to the Times.
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