Release the Tax Returns

There are lies, and there are damn lies.

In a TV interview with CBS, Trump’s campaign manager said “Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them. It has nothing to do with Russia, it has nothing to do with any country other than the United States, and his normal tax auditing processes — so that issue will be dealt with when the audits are done.”

How stupid does he think we are? Absolutely nothing prevents a person being audited from releasing their tax returns. In fact, Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon released his tax returns, even though he had been under an audit. Ironically, a congressional investigation determined that Nixon had cheated on his taxes and owed the government a half a million dollars (which would be over 2 million dollars in today’s dollars).

And in February of 2015, Trump said he would “certainly” release his personal tax returns. He told a conservative radio host “I would release tax returns” and “I have no objection to certainly showing tax returns.”

More recently, in January, Trump again promised that the returns were forthcoming. By May, after he became the presumptive nominee, he changed his tune, saying “So, the answer is, I’ll release. Hopefully before the election I’ll release. And I’d like to release.” His excuse then was that the hold up was the audit. But even then the Associated Press reported that Trump told them that he “doesn’t believe he has an obligation to release his tax returns and won’t release them before November unless an ongoing audit of his finances is completed before Election Day.”

Bottom line — “Trump’s vows to release his tax returns, like so many of his promises, were totally worthless. And his stated reason—that he is under audit by the IRS—doesn’t hold up either.”

In an interview Wednesday, Trump continued to obfuscate. Responding to allegations that Russia leaked the DNC emails to aid his campaign, Trump claimed “I mean I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.” In fact, Trump tried to build some properties in Russia, but they fell through. Trump may have no jobs in Russia, but he certainly has taken tons of money from Russians, including those with strong ties to the Russian government. So saying he has “nothing to do with Russia” is bullshit. The Washington Post fact checker gave Trump four Pinocchios for that statement.

Also published on Medium.

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