This past week, Donald Trump's campaign surrogates attempted to argue that the candidate is a "genius" for turning a nearly $1 billion loss into a tax avoidance strategy for up to 18 years. But now the accountant who compiled Trump's 1995 tax return — and helped verify it for The New York Times — has refuted that narrative in a series of interviews. Jack Mitnick, who handled Trump's taxes until 1996, told Inside Edition on Tuesday, “I did all the tax preparation. He never saw the product until it was presented to him for signature." Pushing back at Trump's own suggestion that he "brilliantly" used tax laws to his own advantage, Mitnick added, “I’m the one who did all the work."
Speaking to CNN on Wednesday morning, Mitnick added that Trump had "virtually zero" involvement in the process and said he saw no evidence that Trump was able to "game the tax code" as he has since indicated. And in a separate interview with NBC News, Mitnick said, "As far as I know, and this only goes through 1996, he didn't understand the [tax] code, nor would he have had the time or patience to learn the provisions."