- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FARMVILLE, Va. — Defending Donald Trump’s huge tax-write off in the 1990s that could have kept him from paying taxes for years, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said the nearly $1 billion deduction showed that the business tycoon faced “difficult times.”

Donald Trump is a business man not a career politician. Those tax returns that came out this week showed that he faces some pretty tough times,” Mr. Pence said in the first and only vice presidential debate of 2016.

Mr. Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns citing an ongoing IRS audit, came under fire this week wen the New York Times obtained a 1995 tax return showing a $915 million write-off when Mr. Trump’s real estate empire was crumbling.

The newspaper speculated that the huge write-off could have excused Mr. Trump from owing taxes for up to 18 years.

Mr. Pence did not repeat other Trump campaign officials claim that the tax write-off was a sign of “genius.”

But his debate opponent, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, responded to those claims.

“I guess all of us that do pay our taxes are stupid,” said Mr. Kaine, running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Pence stressed that Mr. Trump paid lots of taxes and created millions of jobs as he rebuilt a multi-billion-dollar business.

“He went through a very difficult time,” said Mr. Pence, adding that Mr. Trump operated within the tax laws.

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