Donald Trump’s longtime tax accountant on Tuesday rejected the idea that the Republican nominee deserves any of the credit for employing complex strategies to lower his tax bill and those of his companies.
“I did all the tax preparation,” Jack Mitnick told “Inside Edition” on Tuesday. “He never saw the product until it was presented to him for signature.”
The interview followed a damning report Saturday by The New York Times, which obtained part of Trump’s 1995 tax returns showing that the businessman declared a loss that year of more than $900 million, a loss that tax experts said Trump could have used to avoid paying income taxes for nearly 20 years.
Rather than deny the report, Trump and his advisers claimed that not paying income taxes was proof of Trump’s “genius.”
“I understand the tax laws better than almost anyone,” Trump told a rally crowd in Colorado on Monday, “and that is why I am one that can truly fix them.” He added that “fixing our broken tax code is one of the main reasons I’m running for president.”
Yet according to Mitnick, Trump had no part in preparing his taxes over the years. “I’m the one who did all the work,” Mitnick said.
Earlier this year, Trump released a photo of himself signing a tax return.
Mitnick worked for Trump and his father, Fred Trump, for nearly 30 years, from the 1960s until 1996. He told “Inside Edition” that he recognized the tax returns because at the time, his computer couldn’t print a number as large as the loss Trump declared in his 1995 returns: $915,729,293. “The numbers had to be put in there with a typewriter,” he said.
Yet even as Mitnick’s interview was airing on TV, Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was busy hailing Trump’s “brilliant” exploitation of the tax code. “He used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used, and he did it brilliantly,” Pence said.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.