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Trump says he's 'smart' for avoiding paying federal income taxes

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 27/09/2016 ERIN DURKIN
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Donald Trump says it shows he’s “smart” that he avoided paying a cent in federal income taxes for at least a couple years.

Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed over the GOP nominee’s refusal to release his tax returns in Monday night’s debate, with Clinton charging it may be because “you haven’t paid any federal income taxes.”

She pointed out that for two years in the late 1970s, when his returns were turned off to a New Jersey agency in a casino application, he reported paying zero.

“That makes me smart,” Trump retorted.

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during her first presidential debate against Donald Trump. - Joe Raedle/Getty Images © Provided by New York Daily News Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during her first presidential debate against Donald Trump. - Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Clinton said Trump’s refusal to release his taxes, which all other presidential nominees in recent decades have made public, shows there’s “something he’s hiding.”

“Maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is,” she said. “Maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be...Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.”

If Trump paid nothing, Clinton said, “That means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health.”

Trump again suggested not paying taxes would be nothing to be ashamed of. “It would be squandered too, believe me,” he said.

Trump repeated the excuse that his taxes are under audit, but said he would release them anyway - if Clinton releases 33,000 e-mails that were deleted from a private server.

“Why did she delete 33,000 e-mails?” he said. “That was not a mistake. That was done purposely.”

Clinton said her use of a private server was a mistake but did not address why the messages were deleted. Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. - JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images © Provided by New York Daily News Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. - JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

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