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Allies: Trump a genius if he paid no taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mr Donald Trump’s decision to take a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax return showed his business acumen and “genius” at figuring out how to minimize his tax bill, two of the Republican presidential candidate’s advisers said on Sunday.

“This is a perfectly legal application of the tax code. And he would have been fool not to take advantage of it,” said Mr Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is one of Mr Trump’s advisers.

Speaking on the ABC program This Week, Mr Giuliani said that as a business owner, Mr Trump has a “fiduciary duty” to the investors in his real estate company to maximize profits. “He’s a genius at how to take advantage of legal remedies that can help your company survive and grow,” Mr Giuliani said.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that it had obtained Mr Trump’s 1995 tax records and it quoted experts as saying that the US$916 million loss he reported for that year may have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.