November 7, 2016

As the media has solely focused on Hillary Clinton's email server, Donald Trump is now the first presidential candidate in forty years to refuse to release his tax returns.

This is a big story, folks, but it's not sexy and there isn't a server involved.

The Washington Post did an admirable job of collecting and printing all the many excuses Trump and his surrogates have used to defend the undefendable.

  • Trump: “I’m being audited … so I can’t.” (See next section.) (Repeatedly since February)
  • Trump: “There’s nothing to learn from them.” (Fact-checkers say this is false.) (February, February, May, May)
  • Trump: “Mitt Romney looked like a fool when he delayed and delayed and delayed and … didn’t file until a month and a half before the election and it cost him big league.” (February, July)
  • Trump: His tax rate is “none of your business.” (May)
  • Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman: American people “wouldn’t understand them.” (May)
  • Manafort: The only people who want them “are the people who want to defeat him.” (May)
  • Trump: “I don’t think anybody cares.” (Polls show this is false.) (May, September)
  • Eric Trump, son: Would be “foolish” to release; “you would have a bunch of people who know nothing about taxes trying to look through and trying to come up with assumptions on things that they know nothing about.” (August)
  • Mike Pence, vice-presidential nominee who released his tax returns: They’re a “distraction.” (September)
  • Donald Trump Jr.: “Would distract from (his dad’s) main message.” (September)
  • Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager: “I just can’t find where this is a burning issue to most of the Americans.” (In April, before joining his campaign, Conway said, “Donald Trump’s tax returns aren’t … transparent” and called for their release.) (September)
  • Jeffrey Lord, commentator: Tax returns are “a political gimmick, a gotcha … Political opponents are going to go through there and look to make issues out of things.” (September)
  • Trump Jr.: “There’s a lot in a 12,000-page tax return that wouldn’t make sense to open up.” (September)
  • Trump: “You will learn more about Donald Trump” by looking at his financial disclosure forms than by looking at tax returns. (Fact-checkers say this is false.) (September)
  • Rudy Giuliani, Trump surrogate: “The way all of you are treating this is a very good indication of why someone might not want to release their tax returns.” (October)
  • Trump: Blames Clinton for fact he doesn’t pay taxes: “A lot of my write-off was depreciation, and that, Hillary as a senator, allowed. The people that give her all this money want it.” (As a senator, Clinton did vote to close tax loopholes — including one Trump may have used to pay no federal income taxes.) (October)

The media gave up on this important story, months ago.

Digby wonders if we'll ever see another Republican candidate release his tax returns.

Even though Trump's excuse that he's being audited is laughable, (check out the rest of the WaPo story) the media could have made it a point to relentlessly ask Trump to release his returns that were not being audited.

Oh, right. They weren't on a server. Silly me.

Remember when Greta Van Susteren's called Trump on that as well?

Greta asked, "Would you give up or surrender, or let the media see your tax returns, at least for the years not currently in audit."

Trump said that nobody really cares about them except the media and then complained that Mitt Romney got attacked for releasing his tax returns.

What a coward.

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