WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Times report alleging that Donald Trump lost so much money in 1995 that he would have been allowed to pay no federal income taxes for as many as 18 years was a hot topic of conversation on the Sunday morning political shows.
In a story published online late Saturday, the Times said it anonymously received the first pages of Trump’s 1995 state income tax filings in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The filings show a net loss of $915,729,293 in federal taxable income for the year.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union” the situation underscores how the wealthy have manipulated the political system at the expense of the middle class.
Sanders said that middle class Americans are working longer hours for lower wages and that billionaires don’t have that problem because they’ve got their friends on Capitol Hill.
“That is why people are angry and want real change in this country,” Sanders said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on “Fox News Sunday” that the report is a “very good story” for Trump.
The Republican said The New York Times article showcases “the genius of Donald Trump” because he has said he’d follow the law, would ease tax policy on working people and knows tax policy better than anyone.
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill retorted Sunday that Trump’s nearly $916 million loss in one year “represents real pain to many people who never got paid.”
They were referring to a story late Saturday in which the Times said it anonymously received the first pages of Trump’s 1995 state income tax filings in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The filings show a net loss of $915,729,293 in federal taxable income for the year, a large enough loss to allow him to avoid paying federal income taxes for as many as 18 years.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, too, said the Republican candidate is a “genius” if he avoided federal income taxes and noted that poor people can take advantage the same tax “loophole.”
The former New York City mayor said that if Trump hadn’t used his business loses to his advantage on his taxes, he would have been sued by any business partners and shareholders.
When asked whether such a tax loophole was fair, Giuliani noted that many Americans have such low incomes that they aren’t required to pay federal income taxes, either.
In Giuliani’s words: “A lot of the people that are poor take advantage of loopholes and pay no taxes. Those are loopholes also.”
Trump tweeted early Sunday: “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.”
On “Meet the Press,” Robby Mook, campaign manager for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said the report should resonate with many people who feel the U.S. tax system is unfair.
“We talk about the rigged system out there,” Mook said. “Donald Trump embodies that.”
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