Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday praised Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE after a report surfaced that said the GOP nominee could have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

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"He’s a genius at how to take advantage of legal remedies that can help your company survive and grow," Giuliani said on ABC's "Meet The Press."

"I want a man who’s a genius at figuring out how to take this country, that’s — moving in the wrong direction, where we’ve had a basically jobless recovery, where we’ve had growth of less than 2 percent for two years."

Giuliani called the country's growth in the recent years "pathetic."

"Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman?" Giuliani then asked. The phrasing raised eyebrows, especially given the timing.

Before The New York Times report surfaced, the real estate magnate had been embroiled in criticism surrounding comments he made about the former Miss Universe's weight and her past — a topic Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE's campaign has seized on in an attempt to reflect Trump's treatment of women. 

Trump kept the controversy going on Friday, when he called Alicia Machado "disgusting" and referenced an alleged sex tape — an accusation Machado dismissed as "slander and cheap lies."
 
But after the tax report was  published Saturday night, the headlines quickly shifted.

The New York Times reported late Saturday that a $916 million loss on Trump’s 1995 income tax returns could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income tax for up to 18 years. 

The Times obtained fragments of Trump's 1995 tax records, not previously released, that show he reported a federal adjusted gross income loss of $915.7 million in the wake of financial struggles at three Atlantic City casinos, his airline business and purchase of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel.
 
Giuliani admitted Trump hasn't always been successful, but he touted the candidate's ability to rise beyond his failures.
 
"The reality is this man, 26 years ago, had some failures, and then he built an empire," Giuliani said.
 
"I like that working for me, for the United States."