Trump's art of deception

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump got to where he is by staying focused on his own wealth, writes Michael D'Antonio
  • The presidential campaign is his attempt to complete his ultimate work, he says

Michael D'Antonio is the author of the new book, "The Truth About Trump." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)With the revelation that Donald Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax forms, it now seems possible that he didn't pay a penny in income taxes for a decade or more, as income losses can be counted in later years. Trump has said that avoiding taxes makes him "smart," so The New York Times bombshell could be seen as confirmation of his genius. (His surrogates said so Sunday.)

However, it also calls into question qualities Trump promotes even more -- his wealth and business acumen. And it leaves many asking questions about a system that allows a man who has always enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and great net worth to carry such a light tax burden.