Jake Tapper really grilled an uncomfortable Rudy Giuliani, not allowing him to spin the standard Donald Trump smoke and mirrors nonsense.
Jake Tapper grilled Rudy Giuliani
In a feat of journalistic excellence, Jake Tapper grills Rudy Giuliani about Trump losing $1 Billion in business and dodging taxes for years. Bottom line, Donald Trump is not a good businessman, he is good at making money using legal technicalities as opposed to hard work expected of all Americans. The back and forth below tells the story.
Jake Tapper: Mr. Mayor I have got to start with this bombshell report in “The New York Times” that Donald Trump may have avoided federal income taxes for almost a generation. Is your campaign disputing the authenticity of these documents from Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns that was mailed by an anonymous source?
Rudy Giuliani: First of all, what you failed to leave out of what you said — is that this is perfectly legal. Number two, “The Times” fails to point out that he has an obligation, as the head of a business, to take advantage of the tax advantages of and to use the lawful deductions and tax advantages that are available to you. … this is rather common in large, gigantic American businesses, loss carry-forwards. … You might remember — you might remember, a few years ago, it was pointed out that GE paid no taxes. So, the reality is, this is part of our tax code. The man is a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code for the benefit of the people he’s serving.
Jake Tapper: Well, that’s interesting, because, Mr. Mayor, you say that he’s a genius. Donald Trump said during the debate that not paying federal income taxes makes him smart. Does that mean that the rest of us who don’t look for every possible loophole and provision to avoid paying our fair share of taxes, does that mean the rest of us are stupid?
Rudy Giuliani: No, absolutely not. In fact, 44 percent, 45 percent of America doesn’t pay income tax.
Jake Tapper: A lot of them are below the poverty line, not — they are not billionaires. They are below the poverty line, and they don’t make enough to be taxed. … Most Americans pay federal income taxes, sir, and Donald Trump apparently did not.
Rudy Giuliani: No, just a little bit over most Americans pay federal income taxes.
Jake Tapper: Yes, a majority of the American people pay federal income taxes.
Rudy Giuliani: And very — and very large businesses very often take advantage of these kinds of losses. Jake…
Jake Tapper: Do you pay federal income taxes? You’re a successful businessman. Do you pay federal income taxes?
Rudy Giuliani: Well, that’s between me and my accountant and the IRS. … If he didn’t take advantage of those tax deductions or tax advantages that he had, he could be sued. …
Jake Tapper: Sued by whom? Who would sue him for his own personal income taxes?
Rudy Giuliani: Investors in his business, people who loan money to his business, banks that loan money to his business. …
Jake Tapper: I think that there are a lot of very, very successful business men and women who pay federal income taxes and don’t look for every single opportunity there is to avoid paying them. But let me ask you another question. … He’s selling himself as a brilliant businessman. He lost almost a billion dollars in 1995. That doesn’t sound particularly brilliant to me.
Rudy Giuliani: Well, yes it does. Since he came back. Since he came back. And he came all the way back. We know, last year, he made $685 million. We know that from his financial disclosure form.
Jake Tapper: But he hasn’t released his tax returns. The only reason we know anything about this is because somebody released this to “The New York” — somebody leaked this to “The New York Times.”
Rudy Giuliani: No. We know — we know that he made $680 million last year from his 104- page financial disclosure form…
Jake Tapper: He is the first major party nominee since 1976 to not release his tax returns. If you’re proud of that, that’s great. But it — I don’t think he should be.
Rudy Giuliani: And I am saying, the way all of you are treating this is a very good indication of why someone might not want to release their tax returns. … The headline should have been Donald Trump takes advantage of legal provisions in tax code. That’s — that’s the story.
Jake Tapper: OK, that’s an interesting — that’s an interesting headline. I think most Americans are probably interested — most Americans pay their federal income taxes. Most Americans…
Rudy Giuliani: Well, I don’t know. You don’t know most Americans, and I don’t know most Americans.
Jake Tapper: I know that most Americans pay their federal income taxes, sir. … Mr. Mayor, in 2012, Donald Trump tweeted: “Half of Americans don’t pay income tax, despite crippling government debt.” He is in that half that does not pay federal income taxes, despite crippling government debt. When he rails against the junky infrastructure, when he rails against La Guardia Airport, when he talks about how bridges are collapsing, is he not responsible, at least in part, for the fact that these things are not being repaired?
Rudy Giuliani: No. No. Absolutely not. The law is responsible for it.