During a campaign rally in Pueblo, Colorado this afternoon, Donald Trump responded to The New York Times’ recent report alleging that he has not paid federal income taxes in 18 years.
During the speech on Monday, the Republican candidate did not exactly deny the Times’ story. Instead, he turned it into a positive about himself, saying that he is smart for being able to use the United States’ laws to his advantage.
“I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit and to the benefit of my company,” he said. “I have brilliantly used those laws.”
This statement caused the crowd at the Pueblo rally to cheer. Trump also said that he has been a huge beneficiary of the federal tax system but that now he’s working for the American people and will fix it. He stated that the tax code is “so complicated very few people understand it” but that “fortunately, I understand it.”
After heavily implying that it is true that he has not paid federal incomes taxes in 18 years, Trump still said that the New York Times story features an “alleged” tax filing.
On Saturday, The New York Times released some of Donald Trump’s tax filings, which revealed that he claimed a $916 million loss in 1995. This would have legally gotten him out of paying federal income taxes for many years. The report does not show Trump to have done anything wrong, but millionaires and billionaires getting out of paying taxes due to loopholes like these is deeply unpopular with the American people.