Presidential debate: Donald Trump claims not paying tax 'makes him smart' as pressure grows to release tax returns

Mr Trump has consistently refused to release his tax returns, contrary to a 40-year-old tradition of transparency among presidential candidates

Siobhan Fenton
Tuesday 27 September 2016 05:35
Comments
Presidential debate: Donald Trump claims not paying tax 'makes him smart'

Donald Trump has claimed not paying taxes makes him “smart”, in a heated exchange with Hillary Clinton during the first US presidential debate.

The presidential hopeful attempted to defend his refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with a tradition of transparency among candidate which dates back over 40 years. Ms Clinton challenged him saying: “You've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is.

“Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don't know all of his business dealings but we have been told, through investigative reporting, that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks.

“Or maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody has ever seen were a couple of years when had he to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax…”

At which point, Mr Trump interjected: “That makes me smart”.

He continued to defend his decision not to release his tax returns, saying they are currently the subject of an IRS audit and he will release them upon the audit’s completion.

As Ms Clinton continued to criticise the Republican nominee, suggesting his refusal was suspicious, he retorted: “I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer's wishes, when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.”

Ms Clinton’s use of a private email server has undermined much of her campaign, with Mr Trump using it to justify his moniker for her that she is “Crooked Clinton”.

The first presidential debate is underway as Ms Clinton and Mr Trump go head to head in a tense televised 90 minute show down.

You can watch the debate live as it happens here

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in