These Revealing Donald Trump Debate Moments Shouldn’t Have Slipped Under The Radar

Going off script is Donald Trump’s MO. Even in Monday night's presidential debate, where — no matter how much he denied it — he seemed like he had prepared and wanted to attempt to appear presidential, he still couldn’t resist going off the cuff, especially when things got personal. And thank god, because I believe such comments during the debate revealed more about Donald Trump and how his interests don’t align with those of the American people than anything else he said on stage that night.

Take when, in a discussion about the housing crisis, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of rooting for the market to crash in 2008, since he could benefit from a downturn in housing prices. Trump’s response was “That’s called business." That was a jaw-dropping admission. While maximizing profit is usually the goal of any company, he was not courting his Trump Organization board in this moment. He was trying to get our vote to be president — a public servant whose job is to look out for the American people. This is a man who has said that he "loves bad markets" for their profit potential. Not the best philosophy to have if you are going to be the person leading our country and deciding its actions, and therefore influencing market movements.

Thus, it's no surprise then that Trump would have John Paulson as an economic adviser. This is a man who predicted the housing market crash and bet big against it, securing $15 billion for his company and $4 billion for himself. Not exactly the kind of person who seems to care about fighting for the little guy.

When Clinton raised the issue of Trump not releasing his tax returns, she speculated that it was because they showed that he pays nothing in federal income tax. Rather than trying to deny the claim, Trump responded, "That makes me smart." I'm not sure how he thought that would play well with the American people, most of whom don’t have tax lawyers and corporate loopholes at their disposal.

Some Trump supporters have defended his comments, saying we all try to pay the least amount of taxes possible. But claiming your car mileage as a deduction is completely different from paying literally nothing on a multi-billion-dollar company. You can’t complain about how America is turning into a third-world country (or how its airports are) when you have potentially withheld millions in tax revenue that could've paid for infrastructure improvements. To me, it seems all too clear Trump is fine with spending everyone else’s money, as long as he doesn’t have to contribute any of his own. Sounds a lot like how he operates his charitable foundation — which, according to The Washington Post, Trump has not donated to since 2008.

Trump has already proved that he doesn't quite understand what a blind trust is, so I can’t imagine that he will sufficiently extract himself from his company. In which case, I truly would have to wonder if President Trump would throw us citizens under the bus to line his pockets.