Presidential races

Pence defends Trump’s tax tactics

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Mike Pence defended Donald Trump’s use of tax maneuvers that could have potentially helped him avoid paying federal income taxes for years, saying he “used the tax code just the way it was supposed to be used.”

The Republican vice presidential nominee was asked during Tuesday’s debate if it was fair that Trump reported a $915 million loss on his 1995 tax returns, which could allow him to offset future income.

{mosads}Pence, Indiana’s governor, put a brave face on that story, reported by The New York Times, saying those old returns showed Trump “faced some pretty tough times 20 years ago.”

“His tax returns show he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to, and he did it brilliantly,” he said.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, argued that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns — a first for a major-party nominee in decades — effectively disqualifies him from the presidency. He cited Trump’s remark in the first presidential debate that it “makes him smart” to not pay federal income taxes.

“So it’s smart not to pay our military? It’s smart not to pay our veterans, or our teachers?” the Virginia senator asked. “I guess all of us who do pay for those things, I guess we’re stupid?”

But Pence argued that Trump’s time as a businessman casts his returns in a different light. He argued that the real estate tycoon has created tens of thousands of jobs and built a billion-dollar business.

Kaine responded that it’s hard to verify that claim without seeing Trump’s returns.

“How do you know?” he asked.

Tags Donald Trump Mike Pence Tim Kaine
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