Trump defends 'brilliantly' using bankruptcy laws

Clinton tries to attack Trump on his campaign strength
Clinton tries to attack Trump on his campaign strength

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    Clinton tries to attack Trump on his campaign strength

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Clinton tries to attack Trump on his campaign strength 03:37

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump responded to sharp criticism from Hillary Clinton of his business practices
  • Trump said Clinton doesn't understand debt

(CNN)Donald Trump pushed back against criticism of his companies' bankruptcy history Tuesday, repeating his argument that like other smart businessmen, he "used, brilliantly, the laws of the country" to his advantage.

The presumptive GOP nominee was responding to attacks launched by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who lambasted Trump's business record and economic ideas in a cutting speech earlier the same day.
    "What I've done is I've used, brilliantly, the laws of the country. And not personally, just corporate. And if you look at people like myself that are at the highest levels of business, they use -- many of them have done it, many times," Trump told "ABC World News Tonight" host David Muir.
    "But do any average Americans pay the price, though, for that?" Muir responded.
    "I'm running a business," Trump maintained. "I'm running a business for myself, for my company, for my employees, and for my family. Hillary wouldn't have any idea how to do that. Don't forget. Somebody has to understand debt. She doesn't understand debt."
    In another interview on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, Trump continued to discuss the economy. Asked about his penchant for taking on corporate debt -- Turmp once dubbed himself "the king of debt," a name Clinton has re-purposed as an attack -- Trump explained that "if things don't work out, I renegotiate."
    Pressed further on how he would negotiate the country's debt, Trump responded, "You go back and you say, guess what, the economy crashed, I'm going to give you half."
    But Trump quickly backed off that assertion moments later when O'Donnell referenced comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who warned that there could be "very severe" consequences if the U.S. attempted to renege on debt obligations.
    "I wouldn't renegotiate the debt," Trump said. "If I do a deal in a corporation, as an example ... that's a different thing." He then explained his strategy for tackling the national debt would be to borrow under favorable circumstances stretch debt payments in order to make them more manageable.
    "I think it could be a good time to borrow and pay off debt -- borrow debt, make longer term debt," Trump said.
    Earlier Tuesday, Clinton lit into Trump in an economic policy speech that attempted to dismantle his policy prescriptions and cast the businessman as a danger to the U.S. economy.
    Clinton honed in on Trump's bankruptcy history in her remarks, citing reporting from CNN that no major U.S. company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the last 30 years more than Trump's casino empire. She accused him of wanting to "bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos," and joked that Trump has "written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11."