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Hillary Clinton responds to Donald Trump tax 'bombshell'

'He stiffed small businesses and how did it work out for him? He got to avoid paying taxes,' says Clinton campaign

Harriet Agerholm
Sunday 02 October 2016 18:24 BST
Mr Trump claimed it was his 'responsibility' as a businessman to pay as little tax as possible
Mr Trump claimed it was his 'responsibility' as a businessman to pay as little tax as possible (Getty)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has responded to a report revealing Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return, saying it was a “bombshell” that uncovered the “colossal nature” of the tycoon’s past business blunders.

The Clinton campaign reiterated its call for the billionaire to publish his tax returns in full, something he has repeatedly refused to do. Mr Trump says he will not release the returns because he is under audit, yet there is no rule forbidding candidates from releasing their records.

Following the report, Mr Trump did not deny the allegations that he had not paid federal taxes – instead saying it was his "fiduciary responsibility" as a businessman to pay as little tax as possible.

Ms Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said in a statement: “This bombshell report reveals the colossal nature of Donald Trump’s past business failures and just how long he may have avoided paying any federal income taxes whatsoever.

“In one year, Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars. A billion. He stiffed small businesses, laid off workers, and walked away from hard working communities.

“And how did it work out for him? He apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades – while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.”

“He calls that ‘smart’. Now that the gig is up, why doesn’t he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how ‘smart’ he really is.”

The 1995 tax return declared a loss so significant that the tycoon may have been able to legally not pay tax to the federal government for 18 years, The New York Times reported.

According to tax experts, Mr Trump’s $916 million loss would have allowed him to cancel out an equivalent amount to taxable income until 2013.

The leak threatens to derail the Republican candidate's Presidential bid just weeks before the election on 8 November.

During the Presidential debate, Ms Clinton speculated as to the reason why Mr Trump's would not publish the returns. She said they may reveal he "was not as rich as he says he is", "not as charitable as he claims to be", or that he paid "nothing in federal taxes".

Mr Trump replied: "That makes me smart."

In a statement issued on Saturday night, the Trump campaign said: “The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic party and their global special interests.

“Mr Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.

Donald Trump does impression of Hillary Clinton faint

“That being said, Mr Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions.”

Mr Trump was criticised for delivering an "angry" tirade during a speech, which deviated wildly from his script during a speech in Pennsylvania.

During the speech he mocked Ms Clinton: imitating how she stumbled when she became ill at a 9/11 memorial service.

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