Trump once claimed to be the ‘king of the tax code’ – but now pleads ignorance ahead of the New York affair
As the 2016 US election approached, then-candidate Donald Trump claimed to be the “king of the tax code.”
“I know all forms of tax – believe me – from [value-added taxes] fair tax for – every form of tax, ”he once said in August 2015, according to The Washington Post.
Around the same time that summer he said, “Look, no one knows the tax code better than I do. OKAY? I know it better. I am the king of the tax code.
Less than a year later, in March 2016, he once again claimed that he knew “more about taxes than any human being God ever created.”
Fast forward several years, and the former president, whose company, the Trump Organization, faces charges in a criminal tax case, claims to know nothing about certain tax rules.
Speaking at a rally on Saturday in Sarasota, Florida, Mr Trump said, “They are going after good people who work hard not to pay taxes on a company car.”
“You did not pay tax on the car or on a company apartment. You used an apartment, because you need an apartment, because you have to travel too far to where your house is. You did not pay tax. Or the education of your grandchildren. I don’t even know, ”he continued. “Should you? Does anyone know the answer to this stuff?”
Some saw the ex-chairman’s comments as some sort of possible confession, with the company and its CFO Allen Weisselberg facing a slew of tax crimes following a multi-year investigation by prosecutors from New York.
However, as The Washington Post Note, it is also possible that Trump is seeking to defend himself by asserting his ignorance of U.S. tax laws, particularly if he himself faces charges in the ongoing investigation.
If his company’s defense team tries to argue that the tax offenses committed are mistakes, it is possible that Mr. Trump’s past comments will come back to haunt him.
Speaking to CNN in an interview last week, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said he believed that “everything, whether it be the acquisition of paper clips, light bulbs, furniture, mattresses, etc. him or his initial ”.
The former Trump lawyer said he believed the former president would likely have been aware of the existence of the tax scheme the Trump Organization is accused of implementing.