Rudy Giuliani said Donald Trump is an “absolute genius” for avoiding income taxes for nearly twenty years. The former mayor’s controversial statement referenced a New York Times report, which claims the presidential hopeful used loopholes to avoid income taxes for at least 18 years.
Last month, the news agency reportedly obtained a copy of the Republican presidential nominee’s 1995 federal tax return. The documents were analyzed by “tax experts,” who determined Donald Trump claimed nearly $916 million in losses that year. According to the experts, the reported losses amounted to “more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.”
In response to the New York Times’ article, Donald Trump’s representatives issued their own statement.
Although Trump never denied that he avoided paying income taxes, his representatives underlined the fact that he always complied with federal tax laws and has paid “millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes… state taxes, employee and federal taxes.”
According to Donald Trump’s representatives, the tax documents were “illegally obtained” by The New York Times.
During a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Trump’s avoidance of income taxes and called the presidential hopeful an “absolute genius” for taking advantage of loopholes in the law.
As reported by Daily Caller, he also suggested the Republican presidential nominee is not the only American to benefit from the loopholes.
“… most Americans take advantage of every deduction and every legal opportunity there is to save some taxes so that they don’t have to pay as much as they are paying to the government… I know most Americans would rather be paying lower taxes.”
During the interview, Tapper referred to a message Trump posted on Twitter in 2012, which criticized the number of Americans who avoid paying income taxes “despite crippling government debt.”
When questioned about the contrast between his earlier statement and the one he made on Sunday, Rudy Giuliani said Donald Trump, and many others, are simply following the tax laws as they are written.
In his opinion, the presidential hopeful has a “fiduciary obligation” to run his businesses as efficiently as possible and to avoid unnecessary expenses, even if that means taking full advantage of loopholes.
Although Rudy Giuliani defended Donald Trump, Jake Tapper said it simply does not make sense for someone who does not pay income taxes to criticize the amount of government debt.
During Sunday’s edition of “State of the Union,” Tapper pointed out the Republican presidential nominee’s criticism of New York City’s “… junky infrastructure… Laguardia Airport… how bridges are collapsing” indicate that he is dedicated to making improvements.
However, Trump’s avoidance of paying income taxes, according to the “State of the Union” host, indicates that he is at least partially responsible “for the fact that these things are not being repaired.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 2, 2016
Historically, presidential nominees have provided copies of their tax returns prior to election day. In most cases, those who are elected continue to make the documents available to the public.
Donald Trump, however, has refused to release his tax returns. As reported by Newsweek, the presidential hopeful contends he is currently being audited, and the documents simply are not available.
— Littia Loreley (@litiaramirez) October 2, 2016
Although Trump’s explanation seems plausible, his opponents have argued that an audit would not prevent tax documents from being released to the public.
It is unclear what is contained in the Republican presidential nominee’s tax return. However, his critics have suggested he is hiding something. One of the more popular theories is that he has not paid any income taxes for nearly two decades.
The New York Times report suggests the theory may be correct. But, if it is, Rudy Giuliani said Donald Trump has not done anything wrong. Instead, he believes the presidential hopeful is a genius.