Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani introduces Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally on September 13, 2016 in Clive, Iowa. (Photo by AFP)
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “a genius”, after a report indicated that Trump may have legally avoided paying income taxes for nearly two decades.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that the billionaire businessman reported a loss of $916 million on his 1995 income tax returns, and, according to tax experts, the tax deduction was so substantial that could have allowed Trump to legally avoid paying taxes for a period of 18 years.
Defending Trump, Giuliani said in an interview with CNN on Sunday that “this is part of our tax code.”
“The man's a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code to the benefit of the people he's serving,” the Republican politician said. 
"It shows what a genius he is. It shows he was able to preserve his enterprise and that he was able to build it," he reiterated.
Giuliani said Trump could not be blamed for failing to pay federal income taxes.
"No. The law is responsible for it," he said. "If you have a set of laws, you live by those laws. And the reality is, you are ignoring completely the fiduciary obligation he has to all the people around him to run his business at the lowest possible expense."
‘Genius’ Trump is better for US than a ‘woman’
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and her Republican rival, Donald Trump
In a separate interview with ABC News on Sunday, Giuliani said he wants a man who is “a genius at figuring out how to take this country, that’s -- moving in the wrong direction, where we’ve had a basically jobless recovery, where we’ve had growth of less than 2 percent for two years."
"Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman?" Giuliani then asked.
In a statement on Saturday, the Trump campaign said that the tax document was obtained illegally and that The New York Times was operating on behalf of the presidential campaign of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
In another anti-Trump move, the newspaper called on Latinos to vote for Clinton and help defeat the business mogul on November 8.
The call came in an editorial Saturday which drew on Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico to prevent migrants from coming to the US and his insults against Mexicans and other minorities throughout the campaign.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows that Trump has regained the lead over Clinton. According to the UPI/CVoter daily presidential tracking poll released on Saturday, Trump is leading Clinton by 2 points, 49 percent to 47 percent.
Trump has gained over 3 points and Clinton has lost more than 1 point during the past seven days, the online poll shows.