Trump insisted that Mitt Romney release his tax returns
As noted earlier, Trump continues with his obvious lie that he cannot release his tax returns because he’s being audited. He must know that this is a lie—even the IRS has said that an audit does not in the least preclude releasing the tax returns—but Trump doesn’t care: he just continues to repeat the lie.
But Trump has been insistent that other candidates release their tax returns. Here he is in 2012, taking Mitt Romney to task for not releasing his tax returns fast enough:
This was pointed out this morning by James Fallows as one of the Trump Time Capsule entries. Fallows notes:
In a press conference right now, Donald Trump says that he’d be happy to release his tax returns but can’t “while the audit is continuing.” So he can’t put them out before the election.
“Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” the IRS said in a statement.
As a reminder:
- It’s 103 days until the election;
- Major party nominees in modern (post-Nixon) times have understood release of tax returns and believable medical reports to be part of the basic price-of-entry for the general election campaign. Trump has done neither. (If you’ve forgotten about his ludicrous “medical” report, check it out here.)
- Four years ago, Trump was even scolding Mitt Romney for talking so long to release his returns: [see video above – LG]
- This is entirely apart from any question of where Trump gets his money, what Russian operators are or are not doing, or anything else of the sort. Entirely apart from those issues, this is part of the basic bargain with the public of national-level campaigning. Candidates are asking the public to grant them control of the enormous powers of national government. In return the public properly asks to know as much as possible about the candidates.
So: the reason Trump is giving for not releasing his taxes is flat-out false, according to the authority most likely to know: the IRS. Neither the press nor the public should accede to his attempt to normalize this stance.