Mark Cuban To Trump: Avoiding Taxes Is Not 'Smart'

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had some harsh words for Republican nominee Donald Trump as a fellow billionaire businessman and investor.

Cuban, who attended the first presidential debate at New York's Hofstra University as a guest of the Hillary Clinton campaign, showed disgust for many of the Republican presidential nominee's statements, The Washington Post reports. He took particular issue with Trump declaring that he was "smart" for not paying federal income taxes.

"You have to realize that this is a country that’s been great to us and you can’t just take, take, take, take, take, take take," said Cuban.

Cuban previously flirted with the idea of backing Trump, saying the two had a lot in common. Both are current billionaire investors undergoing audits by the IRS. He later abandoned that idea, calling Trump "crazy."

"Donald, initially, I really hoped he would be something different, that as a businessperson, I thought there was an opportunity there," said Cuban, reports The Washington Post. "But then he went off the reservation and went bats--- crazy."

The NBA team owner isn't above circumventing current tax laws, telling lawyers to "take advantage" when they can, but he draws the line at not paying any taxes. 

"I’m the luckiest guy in the world," said Cuban. "At some point you have to recognize that you have to give back."

Cuban's comments come after Clinton accused Trump during the debate of not releasing his federal tax returns because "he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes."

CNN reports that Trump didn't deny her claim, instead simply responding by saying "That makes me smart."

Trump is the first candidate in 40 years from a major political party to not release tax returns. His decision has been routinely condemned by Democrats, who claim he is hiding something by not being transparent with the American people.

After the debate, Trump denied allegations of tax evasion, telling CNN, "Of course I've paid federal taxes."

Sources: The Washington Post (2), CNN / Photo credit: Mark Cuban/Facebook

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