Donald Trump won’t be releasing his tax returns, claiming he does not believe voters are interested in them, the Associated Press reported today. “There’s nothing to learn from them,” he said.
The statement from Trump comes after past declarations that he would do so, including the day of his New Hampshire primary victory in February. He told the New York Times at the time that his tax returns would be released “probably over the next few months.”
“They’re being worked on right now,” Mr. Trump said then. “They’re very big tax returns.”
“Mr. Trump said that people would be surprised by his low tax bill,” the Times reported, “explaining that he fights to pay as little as possible because he hates the way the government spends his money.”
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“I actually look forward to giving the tax returns, but as soon as the audit is complete,” Trump told the Post-Standard. “And everybody understands that. You know, when you’re doing even a routine audit, you just don’t release your tax returns. You release them when they’re completed.”
— Colin Campbell (@BKcolin) May 11, 2016
But now, just one week after his last two primary opponents, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, dropped out, Trump has changed his tune, and it has already produced sharp media criticism.
Actor, comedian and economist Ben Stein weighs in on why Trump should release his tax returns https://t.co/86kMbedXtI
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) May 11, 2016
The Washington Post speculated that there could be any number of reasons why Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns — and that his refusal to do so is only going to lead voters to wonder why.
For instance, it’s possible that Trump wants to “obscure his charitable giving patterns,” since he has in the past spoken of his generous philanthropy, and his tax returns would reveal whether or not this is the case.
Or it may be that “Trump may have lots of money parked overseas,” which could be an embarrassing revelation from a candidate whose slogan is “Make America Great Again,” particularly through bringing back jobs and investments.
Mitt Romney Slams Trump Over Tax Returns
2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who was criticized four years ago for only releasing some of his tax returns, blasted Trump over his decision, calling it “disqualifying.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 11, 2016
“Mr. Trump says he is being audited,” Romney said. “So? There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited. Further, he could release returns for the years immediately prior to the years under audit.
“There is one logical explanation for Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns: there is a bombshell in them.”
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State and current frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination for president, also criticized Trump.
“My husband and I have released 33 years of tax returns, we’ve got eight years on our website right now,” Clinton told CNN. “So you have got to ask yourself, why does he not release them?”
CNN noted that while Trump’s tax returns from 2009 on are under audit, he could release returns from years prior to that, but has not done so.
What do you think? Should Donald Trump release his tax returns? Be sure to tell us in the comments section below.
[Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images]