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Santorum: Not illegal for Trump 'to do everything he can not to pay taxes'

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said in a new interview that it's not illegal for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE "to do everything he can not to pay taxes," discussing the bombshell New York Times report on the president's tax history.

"You can't complain that he's not paying any taxes and then criticize him for losing money. If he's losing money he's not going to be paying taxes," the CNN commentator and former presidential hopeful said.

"Are you comfortable with the morality of all of that?" CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked.

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"Look, the answer is if you have a lot of money, no matter what you do with the tax system you can always game it," Santorum answered. "Donald Trump has been very forthright ... that he doesn't like paying taxes and he's going to do everything he can not to pay taxes."

"If he structures it according to the law. The question is, is he doing anything illegal? And I don't think there's any claim of that," he added.

Santorum's comments follow a report by The New York Times detailing 20 years of Trump's tax records that claims Trump avoided paying income taxes for 10 out of 15 years leading up to the 2016 presidential election, and that in 2016 and 2017 Trump's income taxes were $750.

Trump has denied the reports, calling it "totally fake news" during a Sunday press briefing. He said he would release his tax returns to show the Times story is false, but could not do so until the end of an IRS audit of his taxes that has been ongoing for years. 

"It's under audit. They've been under audit for a long time," he said Sunday.