Donald Trump on Wednesday night insisted to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he did not say that he never paid federal taxes during the Monday night debate.
“They’re gonna come after you that — they being the Clinton campaign — on the statement that you made that you were smart for paying as few taxes as you could possibly pay,” O’Reilly told Trump. “Do you have any defense for that right now?”
“No, I didn’t say that. What she said is, ‘Maybe you paid no taxes.’ I said, ‘Well that would make me very smart,'” Trump replied.
He then said that he wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if politicians didn’t waste taxpayer money.
O’Reilly then asked Trump again how he plans to respond if Clinton continues to criticize him for saying he was smart to avoid paying taxes.
“First of all, I never said I didn’t pay taxes,” Trump responded. “She said, ‘Maybe you didn’t pay taxes.’ And I said, ‘Well, that would make me smart because tax is a big payment.’ But I think a lot of people say that’s the kind of thinking that I want running this nation.”
During the Monday night debate, Clinton accused Trump of trying to hide how little he has paid in taxes by not releasing his tax returns. Trump responded by saying, “That makes me smart.” And when she criticized him again, he complained that the government would waste his taxes anyway.
Following the debate, Trump denied that he admitted to not paying taxes and did not answer when asked if he pays federal income tax now.