Hillary Clinton lambasted Donald Trump during a Monday speech in Toledo, Ohio, after a bombshell New York Times report dropped on Saturday revealed the Manhattan billionaire suffered a $916 million loss in 1995 and could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years.
Clinton slammed Trump for “contributing nothing” to the US, a country he’s been “dissing” throughout his campaign.
She said that when it comes to the ultrawealthy taking advantage of the US government, Trump was “in a category by himself.” The former secretary of state also called for a law to be enacted that would force major-party presidential nominees to release their tax returns, something every major-party nominee has done since 1976 – except Trump.
“Now, a lot of us were wondering, ‘What is he hiding? It must be really terrible,'” she told the crowd. “Well, The New York Times has discovered at least part of the answer.”
Trump’s campaign has neither confirmed nor denied the accuracy of The Times report on his taxes. Instead, a campaign statement accused The Times of “illegally” publishing the returns and praised Trump for using the tax code to his advantage, a line that Trump’s surrogates repeated. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others insisted that Trump was a “genius” for taking advantage of the tax codes.
“Yesterday his campaign was bragging it makes him a ‘genius,'” Clinton said. “Here’s my question: What kind of a genius loses $1 billion in a single year?”
Clinton said that “how anyone can lose a dollar, let alone a billion dollars in the casino industry, is kind of beyond me.”
“It’s just hard to figure,” she continued. “But as a result, it doesn’t look like he paid a dime for two decades.”
The Democratic nominee added that, at the same time, American families were paying the same taxes Trump was eschewing.
“It seems that he was contributing nothing to our nation,” Clinton said. “Nothing for Pell Grants to help kids go to college, nothing for veterans, nothing for our military, and, you know, he’s been dissing America in this whole campaign, right? He talks us down, he makes disparaging comments about our country, he calls our military a disaster. Well, it’s not, but it might have been if everybody else failed to pay taxes to help our brave men and women in uniform.”
Clinton added that while his employees were suffering from the decisions that led to a nearly $1 billion loss, Trump was “busy with his accountants trying to figure out how he could keep living like a billionaire.”
“Trump was taking from America with both hands and leaving the rest of us with the bill,” she said.
Clinton later called Trump “the poster boy” of “bullying small businesses.
“I have heard so many stories of contractors, and I’ve met some, too, who worked for him, produced the goods and services, and never got paid,” she said. “I’m talking about painters and plumbers, piano sellers, architects, glass installers – he stiffed them all. Not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them. And he’d tell them, ‘If you want to get your money, sue me.'”
She then promised to close a litany of tax loopholes, including the ones Trump may have utilized, if she were elected in November.
“We’re going to close those loopholes,” she said. “We’re going to make Wall Street and the superrich pay their fair share.”