Donald Trump has not released his tax returns, and some theories link the Republican nominee to Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Trump stated that he will not release them while under audit. However, there is nothing stopping Trump from releasing his tax returns, which has led to some speculation that he has something to hide.
In his recent Meet the Press interview with Chuck Todd, Donald Trump gave some insight to what he assumes will be the consequences for releasing his tax returns. Trump believes that Mitt Romney releasing his tax returns lost him the election:
“[Mitt Romney] tax returns are a tiny peanut compared to mine, they went through his tax returns. And they found one little sentence, another little– there was nothing wrong. And they made him look bad. In fact, I think he lost his election because of that.”
This suggests that Donald Trump is apprehensive about how his tax returns will be perceived, and conservative columnist George Will believes that it has something to do with Russian oligarchs and others possible connected to Vladimir Putin:
“Perhaps one more reason why we’re not seeing his tax returns because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs and others. Whether that’s good, bad or indifferent it’s probably the reasonable surmise.”
Donald Trump responded to the allegations on Twitter by denying having business in Russia and disputes the notion that Russia was involved with the DNC leak:
According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump has tried on many occasions to build a business in Russia, and investors from the country buy Trump assets from around the world:
“Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.”
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Vladimir Putin described Trump as “colorful and talented,” and there is increasing evidence that Russia wants Trump to win the election.
Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian policies are not popular among Americans, and if Trump’s tax returns link him to Russia, it may hurt his campaign and trust factor in the general election.
As of now, many lead figures in Trump’s campaign have previous ties to Russia. Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, was an adviser for Viktor Yanukovych, who is the former Ukrainian president and a Vladimir Putin partner now living in exile in Russia.
Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, has deep financial ties to the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is controlled by Putin.
None of these ties to Russia proof that Donald Trump is controlled by Putin. And it doesn’t confirm that his tax returns will link him to the European nation.
There are several other reasons why Trump will want to keep his tax returns secret. They may show that he is not as rich as he claims to be. The tax returns will show how much Trump really donates to charity, and as Mitt Romney suggested, it may prove that he has links to the mob.
The media seems to have toned down requests that Donald Trump releases his tax returns and it is unlikely that the Republican nominee will release them before November.
Whether Trump hiding his tax returns will affect his chances of winning the elections is yet to be determined. Some reports suggest that Trump feels the revelation of his tax returns will be more damaging than keeping them hidden.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]