searching for a loophole

Trump predictably blames his gaming the tax system on Hillary Clinton

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Donald Trump has a new response to The New York Times‘s bombshell report claiming he might not have paid taxes for nearly two decades: If he didn’t pay taxes, it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault.

“So, now, after years of failure, she complains about how I’ve used the tax laws of this country to my benefit,” Trump told the crowd at a rally in Prescott Valley, AZ, on Tuesday. “Then I ask a simple question: ‘Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I could not have used them?'”

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a partial set of Trump’s tax documents from 1995. The forms revealed the real estate mogul declared losses of nearly a billion dollars that year. Tax experts say that such a write-off could have allowed Trump to pay nothing in taxes for 18 years.

“She could have changed the laws when she was in the United States Senate, but she didn’t,” Trump went on at the rally. “The reason she did not do that is her donors and contributors have used those tax laws as I did—the same way.”

Clinton first became a senator in January 2001, nearly six years after Trump declared the loss. And though single senators can’t rewrite the tax code, Clinton did vote against George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

In his Arizona stump speech, Trump called out two Clinton supporters, George Soros and Warren Buffet, for declaring large losses the same way he did. Buffet, for his part, has said publicly that he will release his tax returns when Trump releases his own.

This is not the first time Trump has attempted to pin his own controversies on Clinton. During the first presidential debate, Trump argued that Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign had been responsible for birtherism, the racist conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born abroad, or something. Trump, of course, has spent the past 5 years relentlessly flogging the birther conspiracy—and only recently (maybe) admitted he’d been wrong.