Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday attacked her rival in the presidential race — Republican nominee Donald Trump — amid speculation that the latter may have used a loophole to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years.
“Trump represents the same rigged system that he claims he’s going to change,” Clinton told voters at a rally in Toledo, Ohio — the first of her two campaign stops in the crucial state.
The New York Times released documents Saturday that showed the construction mogul may have avoided tax as he declared a $916 million loss he made in 1995 — primarily attributed to financial mismanagement at three of his Atlantic City casinos.
“How anyone can lose a dollar, let alone a billion dollars, in the casino industry is beyond me,” the Democrat said. “The whole story tells us everything we need to know about how Trump does business.”
The Republican, however, seemed unfazed as he told supporters Monday in Colorado that he had tackled the situation “brilliantly,” adding: “I understand the tax laws better than almost anyone."
He maintained that he had legally utilized the laws for his and his company’s benefit and that it showcased his business acumen, which he would put to use in the governance of the country if he is elected president in the November elections.
The new development has been a cause of worry for the Republican camp as the latest CNN/ORC poll from late Monday showed Clinton pulling ahead of Trump by five points.
“While millions of American families — including mine and yours — were working hard, paying our fair share, it seems he was contributing nothing to our nation,” the Democratic nominee told the crowd.
“Nothing for our veterans. Nothing for our military. And, you know, he’s been dissing America in this whole campaign. He talks us down, makes disparaging comments about our country, calls our military a disaster. It’s not, but it might have been if everyone else had failed to pay taxes to support our great men and women in uniform,” she added.
While some of Trump's supporters are calling him a genius for having managed to use the laws to his benefit, the masses could be tough to assuage, especially since almost three-quarters of those polled reportedly said that Trump should release his tax returns to the public.