In Tuesday night’s debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred on the stage for the first time, covering several important topics that voters care about, from the economy, race relations, Iraq to criminal justice. But there was a moment that will persist in the public consciousness long after most of the debate is forgotten.
That moment came during a discussion of Trump’s tax returns, and Clinton nailed it. Thus far, Trump has been able to avoid a sustained discussion of his tax returns.
Last night, however, his luck just ran out.
During a heated exchange, Clinton suggested that Trump wasn’t releasing his personal tax returns because it would show he paid no taxes at all. Clinton brought to light a couple of older returns from the 1980s, that were disclosed through casino regulators, showed he paid no taxes.
Trump didn’t deny it, and eve appeared to brag about it. “That makes me smart,” he replied.
Clinton seized the moment. “So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or 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,” she said.
Trump is now on the record stating that paying no income tax makes him “smart.” This would suggest that, if he released his taxes, it would reveal that Trump has paid little to nothing. Or worst: a recent investigation suggests that Trump may be hiding a massive tax fraud.
Watch the exchange in the video below: