During the first presidential debate, during a discussion about Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, Hillary Clinton noted that he's "paid nothing in federal taxes" in recent years. "That makes me smart," Trump bragged.
Trump reiterated that he's under a "routine audit" and he's withholding his tax returns on his legal team's advice, though he did gloat that he earned $690 million last year.
"I've been under audit almost 15 years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I say, 'Have you been audited?' I get audited almost every year," Trump said. "In a way, I should be complaining .… I don't mind it, it's almost become a way of life, I get audited by the IRS."
However, Trump said he'd release the information on one condition: "I will release my tax returns against my lawyers' wishes when [Clinton] releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted," Trump proclaimed, drawing a rare response from the audience.
Paying zero in taxes doesn’t make you "smart."— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 27, 2016
It makes you a tax evader. https://t.co/g9nQkSRvTB
Clinton called Trump's promise a typical "bait-and-switch" from the mogul. "You got to ask yourself: Why won't he release his tax returns, and I think there are a couple of reasons," Clinton said.
"First, maybe he's not as rich as he says is. Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don't know all of his business dealings but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes."
Clinton added, "That means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools and health, and I think probably he's not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he's trying to hide."