Trump once claimed to be the ‘king of the tax code’ – but now pleads ignorance ahead of the New York affair
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 in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, 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 former president’s comments as a sort of confession, with the company and its CFO Allen Weisselberg facing a slew of tax-related crimes following a multi-year investigation by New York prosecutors.
However, as The Washington Post notes, it is also possible that Trump is seeking to mount a defense by claiming ignoring on US tax law, particularly if he himself faces charges in the ongoing investigation.
If his company’s defense team tries to argue that any tax violation they committed was a mistake, 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 known about the existence of the tax scheme the Trump Organization is accused of implementing.