TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Defends Leaked Tax Returns: ‘I Have Legally Used the Tax Laws To My Benefit’

"As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit"

Donald Trump on Monday defended his leaked tax documents, which show that he may have been able to avoid paying federal income taxes for more than a decade.

Part of Trump’s 1995 tax returns leaked Saturday in a New York Times report, but the businessman suggested Monday that this was a reflection of the “diminished” early 1990s real estate market.

“As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit,” Trump said during a Pueblo, Colorado rally. “I was able to use the tax laws of this country and my business acumen to dig out of the real estate mess…when few others were able to do.”

Trump referenced a line from last week’s debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton to boast about his business skills—his temperament.

“I never had any doubts what so ever, and most importantly, I never gave up or even thought about giving up,” Trump said. “If you didn’t have the right temperament you could have never escaped that financial jungle. Single greatest asset is my temperament and I have a temperament for winning.”

The Republican presidential nominee took pot shots at Clinton, saying that his “biggest opponent was the microphone” and pitching himself as the candidate to create jobs.

“Hillary Clinton has never created a single job in her entire life,” Trump said. “Just take a look, this is a movement folks, a movement like they’ve never seen. And now we’ve got one person left: Crooked Hillary.”

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