Giuliani on Trump not paying federal income taxes “this is perfectly legal.”
October 2nd, 2016
11:39 AM ET

Giuliani on Trump not paying federal income taxes “this is perfectly legal.”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-NY), joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss the New York Times report on Trump’s taxes, if he pays his own taxes, the Trump campaign spreading allegations that Hillary Clinton was not loyal to Bill and more.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com

 CNN STORY

Giuliani: False claims about Clinton's marriage are 'fair game'

Giuliani claims Trump 'a genius' for not paying taxes

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Rudy Giuliani full interview

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Giuliani on The New York Times report that Trump has not paid federal income taxes for 18 years: Well, all I have is "The New York Times" story to go by, so let me - let me comment on it as if it's true. First of all, what you failed to leave out of what you said - and it's not your fault - it's "The New York Times"' fault - is that this is perfectly legal.  And "The Times" makes that point about 26 paragraphs into the opinion. 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.  I advise my clients to do that, because, if they don't do it, they get sued by their co-investors, by their investors, they lose jobs for their employees.  And the reality is, 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.

 

Giuliani on Americans paying income taxes: 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? GIULIANI:  No, absolutely not. In fact, 44 percent, 45 percent of America doesn't pay income tax. 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. GIULIANI:  But someone told them that they - they - they don't have to pay taxes. And anybody that goes and has an accountant, H&R Block, or just goes online, figures out all the deductions available - available to them.  I mean, the reality is that most Americans take advantage of every deduction available to them.  And, of course. TAPPER:  Most Americans pay federal income taxes, sir, and Donald Trump apparently did not. GIULIANI:  No, just a little bit over most Americans pay federal income taxes. TAPPER:  Yes, a majority of the American people pay federal income taxes. GIULIANI:  And very - and very large businesses very often take advantage of these kinds of losses.  Jake...

 

 

Giuliani on if he pays federal income taxes: TAPPER:  Do you pay federal income taxes?  You're a successful businessman.  Do you pay federal income taxes? GIULIANI:  Well, that's between me and my accountant and the IRS.  And the reality is, I pay my lawful tax, and he paid his lawful tax.

 

Giuliani on Trump not releasing his tax return: TAPPER:  He's the first - he's 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. 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, because you take something that is perfectly legal, something he had no choice but to utilize - and if he didn't utilize it, he would have been in a lot of trouble - and you try to make it into - he did no wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has violated probably 30 federal statutes.  He did nothing wrong.  The headline should have been Donald Trump takes advantage of legal provisions in tax code.  That's - that's the story. 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...GIULIANI:  Well, I don't know.  You don't know most Americans, and I don't know most Americans. TAPPER:  I know that most Americans pay their federal income taxes, sir. Let me ask you something.  In 2012... GIULIANI:  I also know - I also know that most Americans take advantage of every deduction and every legal opportunity there is to save some taxes, so they don't have to pay as much as they are paying to the government…And I know most Americans would - I know most Americans would rather be paying lower taxes than a Donald Trump and 10 percent or 20 percent more under Hillary Clinton.

 

 

 

Giuliani on the Trump campaign spreading allegations that Hillary hasn’t been loyal to Bill: TAPPER:  Mr. Mayor, is that normal, stable behavior for a presidential nominee to launch an unsubstantiated attack? GIULIANI:  Well, after - after she called him a racist and misogynist, a xenophobic, I don't know, schizophrenic, and I don't know what else she called him at the end of that debate, I think it's fair - it's fair game. TAPPER:  Just to make stuff up, just to say wild accusations, Hillary Clinton is cheating on Bill, no proof of it whatsoever?  Everything is fair game? GIULIANI:  What - what - that was a sarcastic remark pointing out that Bill Clinton has, you know, quite a past, and Hillary Clinton has done quite a job on attacking the people who were victims of Bill Clinton. And not only that.  She poses as a feminist, and she's taken money from countries that stone women, kill women, have women...TAPPER:  Bill Clinton is not the nominee, sir.  Bill Clinton is not the nominee.  And this is my last question for you. GIULIANI:  And he is...TAPPER:  Is the Trump campaign - is Donald Trump and the people around Donald Trump really the ones to be casting aspersions on the marriages of anyone else? GIULIANI:  It isn't a marriage.  It isn't the marriage.  It's the way she goes on the attack and tries to hurt victims of sexual predations.  I mean, she's the one who says that victims should be taken seriously. TAPPER:  That wasn't about her marriage?  Him saying that she's not loyal to Bill isn't about her marriage?  GIULIANI:  I am saying the problem with Hillary Clinton has nothing to do, as far as I'm concerned, with her marriage.  It's her protection of Bill Clinton for 20 or 25 years against allegations of rape, taking advantage of an intern, and going on the attack and trying to make those women appear to be insane in some cases. Also, it's her posing as a feminist and taking millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, from countries that kill women, stone women, don't allow women to drive, don't allow women to have rights, use women as property.  TAPPER:  I just - I just - I - I mean, I just find it hard to believe that Mr. Trump would want to start leveling accusations about people's marriages. But that's all the time we have, Mr. Mayor. GIULIANI:  I think the - I think the accusations are about Hillary Clinton taking money from countries that kill women. TAPPER:  The accusation was that Hillary Clinton was cheating on Bill.  That's what the accusation was. GIULIANI:  That's…TAPPER:  It was an unhinged and wild accusation.  I can understand why you can't defend it, because it's indefensible. Mayor Giuliani, thank you so much.  I appreciate it. GIULIANI:  Well, that's your opinion.  And thank you for allowing me to reply to that.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST:  Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.  I'm Jake Tapper.

 

Quote: "She's nasty, but I can be nastier than she ever can be."

 

That's what Donald Trump told "The New York Times" this weekend.  And then he proved it at a rally last night.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  She can't make it 15 feet to her car.

 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

 

TRUMP:  Give me a break.

 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

 

TRUMP:  Give me a break.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  While he was working that crowd, "The New York Times" published a story revealing that the paper had seen pages from Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns, which suggested a near-billion-dollar loss, a deduction so huge, it could have allowed Trump to not pay any federal income taxes for as long as 18 years.

 

We have lots to talk about with top Trump adviser and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joins me now live from New York.

 

Mr. Mayor, thanks for being here.

 

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK:  No, thank you very much, Jake.  Nice to be with you.

 

TAPPER:  So, 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?

 

GIULIANI:  Well, all I have is "The New York Times" story to go by, so let me - let me comment on it as if it's true.

 

First of all, what you failed to leave out of what you said - and it's not your fault - it's "The New York Times"' fault - is that this is perfectly legal.  And "The Times" makes that point about 26 paragraphs into the opinion.

 

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.  I advise my clients to do that, because, if they don't do it, they get sued by their co-investors, by their investors, they lose jobs for their employees.

 

And the reality is, this is rather common in large, gigantic American businesses, loss carry-forwards.

 

TAPPER:  But - but, Mr...

 

GIULIANI:  You might remember - you might remember, a few years ago, it was pointed out that GE paid no taxes.

 

TAPPER:  Yes.

 

GIULIANI:  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.

 

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?

 

GIULIANI:  No, absolutely not.

 

In fact, 44 percent, 45 percent of America doesn't pay income tax.

 

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.

 

GIULIANI:  But someone told them that they - they - they don't have to pay taxes.

 

And anybody that goes and has an accountant, H&R Block, or just goes online, figures out all the deductions available - available to them.  I mean, the reality is that most Americans take advantage of every deduction available to them.  And, of course...

 

TAPPER:  Most Americans pay federal income taxes, sir, and Donald Trump apparently did not.

 

GIULIANI:  No, just a little bit over most Americans pay federal income taxes.

 

TAPPER:  Yes, a majority of the American people pay federal income taxes.

 

GIULIANI:  And very - and very large businesses very often take advantage of these kinds of losses.  Jake...

 

TAPPER:  Do you pay federal income taxes?  You're a successful businessman.  Do you pay federal income taxes?

 

GIULIANI:  Well, that's between me and my accountant and the IRS.  And the reality is, I pay my lawful tax, and he paid his lawful tax.

 

TAPPER:  Well, let me ask you another question, sir.

 

Donald Trump has...

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

GIULIANI:  And, Jake - no, no, no, Jake, wait a second.  This is really very unfair.

 

If he didn't take advantage of those tax deductions or tax advantages that he had, he could be sued, because he - his obligation, as a businessman, is to make money for his enterprise and to save money for his enterprise.  It would have been insane for him to take advantage of them.

 

TAPPER:  Sued by whom?  Who would sue him for his own personal income taxes?

 

GIULIANI:  Investors in his business, people who loan money to his business, banks that loan money to his business.

 

If I have a $200 million loss carry-forward that I can use, and I don't lose - and I don't use - use it, and I end up costing my company $200 million more, don't you think a bank that I borrowed money from is going sue me for mismanaging my business.

 

TAPPER:  Mr. Mayor, let me ask you another question.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

TAPPER:  Donald Trump, his pitch is...

 

GIULIANI:  That's why you are - that's why the simplistic analysis of an extraordinary, complex code is so unfair.  The reality...

 

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.  Donald Trump has been selling himself as a brilliant businessman.

 

GIULIANI:  Wait a second, Jake.  Wait a second.  No, no.

 

TAPPER:  He has been selling himself as a brilliant businessman.

 

GIULIANI:  No, wait a second.

 

TAPPER:  He lost almost a billion dollars in 1995.

 

GIULIANI:  You got to let me - you got to - you got to - there are not very many smart businessmen who don't take advantage of the tax - legal tax laws that are there.

 

And if they are, then they are not very good businessmen, and no one wants to go into business with them.  They don't have very good lawyers and they don't have very good accountants.

 

TAPPER:  OK.

 

But, let me ask you, sir, he's selling himself as a brilliant businessman.  He lost almost a billion dollars in 1995.

 

GIULIANI:  Correct.

 

TAPPER:  That doesn't sound particularly brilliant to me.

 

GIULIANI:  Well, yes it does.

 

TAPPER:  It does?

 

GIULIANI:  Since he came back.  Since he came back.  And he came all the way back.

 

And isn't that the history of America?  I mean, people like Steve Jobs were fired - was fired by Apple and came all the way - and came all the way back.  Churchill was thrown out of office twice and came all the way back.

 

It shows what a genius he is.  It shows he was able to preserve his enterprise and then he was able to build it.  And the idea that he could carry it forward for 18 years means that at no time in 18 years did he make $916 million.

 

And, of course, we know, last year, he made $685 million.  We know that from his financial disclosure form.

 

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."

 

GIULIANI:  No.

 

We know - we know that he made $680 million last year from his 104-page financial disclosure form...

 

TAPPER:  All right, Mr. Mayor...

 

GIULIANI:  ... which - which describes considerably more about his finances than the tax return.  And the reason...

 

TAPPER:  He's the first - he's 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.

 

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, because you take something that is perfectly legal, something he had no choice but to utilize - and if he didn't utilize it, he would have been in a lot of trouble - and you try to make it into - he did no wrongdoing.

 

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has violated probably 30 federal statutes.  He did nothing wrong.  The headline should have been Donald Trump takes advantage of legal provisions in tax code.  That's - that's the story.

 

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...

 

GIULIANI:  Well, I don't know.  You don't know most Americans, and I don't know most Americans.

 

TAPPER:  I know that most Americans pay their federal income taxes, sir.

 

Let me ask you something.  In 2012...

 

GIULIANI:  I also know - I also know that most Americans take advantage of every deduction and every legal opportunity there is to save some taxes, so they don't have to pay as much as they are paying to the government.

 

TAPPER:  In 2012...

 

GIULIANI:  And I know most Americans would - I know most Americans would rather be paying lower taxes than a Donald Trump and 10 percent or 20 percent more under Hillary Clinton.

 

TAPPER:  OK.

 

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?

 

GIULIANI:  No.  No.

 

TAPPER:  He's not at all?

 

GIULIANI:  Absolutely not.

 

TAPPER:  Not at all?  No?

 

GIULIANI:  The law is responsible for it.

 

If you have a sensitivity laws, you live by those laws.  And the reality is, you are ignoring completely the fiduciary obligation that he has to all the people around him to run his business at the lowest possible expense.

 

Every businessman takes advantage of it, including Warren - Warren Buffett.  And Warren Buffett think we should be paying 90 percent in taxes.  So, why doesn't he voluntarily send in that extra 40 percent?  Let him voluntarily make out a check and send it in if that's what - he does exactly the same thing.  He takes advantage of the law.

 

TAPPER:  Mr. Mayor, I have one last question for you.

 

Donald Trump launched a wild and unsubstantiated attack against Hillary Clinton last night.  Take listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  I don't even think she's loyal to Bill, you want to know the truth.

 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

 

TRUMP:  And, really, folks, really, why should she be, right?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  Mr. Mayor, is that normal, stable behavior for a presidential nominee to launch an unsubstantiated attack?

 

GIULIANI:  Well, after - after she called him a racist and misogynist, a xenophobic, I don't know, schizophrenic, and I don't know what else she called him at the end of that debate, I think it's fair - it's fair game.

 

TAPPER:  Just to make stuff up, just to say wild accusations, Hillary Clinton is cheating on Bill, no proof of it whatsoever?  Everything is fair game?

 

GIULIANI:  What - what - that was a sarcastic remark pointing out that Bill Clinton has, you know, quite a past, and Hillary Clinton has done quite a job on attacking the people who were victims of Bill Clinton.

 

And not only that.  She poses as a feminist, and she's taken money from countries that stone women, kill women, have women...

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

TAPPER:  Bill Clinton is not the nominee, sir.  Bill Clinton is not the nominee.

 

And this is my last question for you.

 

GIULIANI:  And he is...

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

TAPPER:  Is the Trump campaign - is Donald Trump and the people around Donald Trump really the ones to be casting aspersions on the marriages of anyone else?

 

GIULIANI:  It isn't a marriage.  It isn't the marriage.  It's the way she goes on the attack and tries to hurt victims of sexual predations.  I mean, she's the one who says that victims should be taken seriously.

 

TAPPER:  That wasn't about her marriage?  Him saying that she's not loyal to Bill isn't about her marriage?

 

GIULIANI:  I am saying the problem with Hillary Clinton has nothing to do, as far as I'm concerned, with her marriage.  It's her protection of Bill Clinton for 20 or 25 years against allegations of rape, taking advantage of an intern, and going on the attack and trying to make those women appear to be insane in some cases.

 

Also, it's her posing as a feminist and taking millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, from countries that kill women, stone women, don't allow women to drive, don't allow women to have rights, use women as property.

 

TAPPER:  I just - I just - I - I mean, I just find it hard to believe that Mr. Trump would want to start leveling accusations about people's marriages.

 

But that's all the time we have, Mr. Mayor.

 

GIULIANI:  I think the - I think the accusations are about Hillary Clinton taking money from countries that kill women.

 

TAPPER:  The accusation was that Hillary Clinton was cheating on Bill.  That's what the accusation was.

 

GIULIANI:  That's...

 

TAPPER:  It was an unhinged and wild accusation.  I can understand why you can't defend it, because it's indefensible.

 

Mayor Giuliani, thank you so much.  I appreciate it.

 

GIULIANI:  Well, that's your opinion.  And thank you for allowing me to reply to that.

 

TAPPER:  All right, sir, thank you so much.

 

 

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 

 

 

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