News & Politics

Manafort: Trump Will Not Release Tax Returns

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking at a rally at Macomb Community College, Friday, March 4, 2016, in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told CBS This Morning that, despite numerous promises to the contrary, the candidate will not be releasing his tax returns before the election.

The Hill:

“Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told “CBS This Morning.”

“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 process,” Manafort added.
Trump has pushed back in recent months on calls from Democrats and some Republicans, namely former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, to release his tax returns.
Conservative columnist George Will this week argued Trump doesn’t want to release his taxes because they show “he is deeply involved in dealing with Russia oligarchs.”

“So to be clear, Mr. Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian oligarchs?” CBS’s Norah O’Donnell asked Manafort.

“That’s what he said, that’s what I said,” Manafort responded. “That’s obviously what our position is.”
Hillary Clinton‘s campaign has gone after Trump’s comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin this week in the wake of a hack on the Democratic National Committe. Emails pilfered in the hack, which were provided to Wikileaks, revealed Democratic infighting on the eve of the party’s national convention.
Trump has said in the past that he can’t release his tax returns while he’s being audited. The IRS denies it. Nevertheless, in January, he claimed his staff was preparing the returns for release:

“We’re working on that now. I have big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time,” the billionaire real estate developer and entertainer said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The man has an aversion to the truth.

Trump is a rich man and in America, you don’t get and stay rich unless you’ve figured out how to pay the least amount of taxes possible. It’s not Trump’s fault if he fudges and dodges on his taxes. The Congress has made the tax code so ridiculously complex with so much open to IRS interpretation that there’s little doubt there are many items in his return he would rather keep from prying eyes.

Some are questioning the timing of this announcement — that there is something in his tax returns that ties him to Russia. Even if there is, it’s pure speculation to connect the dots from Trump to the DNC email hack. Without hard evidence, all we have are questions — questions that the candidate will apparently leave hanging until election day.