President Donald Trump, who has all but ruled out disclosing his tax information, claimed on Sunday that he could release his tax returns “soon,” following the completion of a routine IRS audit.
“It could happen soon. I don’t know,” he said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think it’s pretty routine, to be honest with you. But then I’ll make a decision.”
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin declared that Trump “has no intention” of releasing his tax returns, which he repeatedly promised to do while running for president but falsely claimed that he couldn’t because he’s being audited.
The IRS has said that “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” including being audited.
In avoiding a basic practice of transparency for elected officials, Trump became the first president in four decades to not disclose his tax filings, leaving many unanswered questions about his finances and business practices.
When Mnuchin last week unveiled the Trump administration’s tax plan, which would benefit wealthy people like Trump, it renewed calls for the president to unveil his tax information.
On Sunday, Trump refuted his treasury secretary, claiming that he might release his tax returns — and bragged about the supposed size of them.
“Well, I never spoke to him about it. Honestly, he’s never asked me about it,” Trump said of Mnuchin. “I said, number one, I’m under audit. Right now, I’m under audit. After the audit is complete. It’s a routine audit, but I have a very big tax return. You’ve seen the pictures. My tax return is probably higher than that from the floor. When you look at other people’s tax return, even other wealthy people, their tax return is this big. My tax return is this high.”
Trump said that “it’s very unfair” that he was being audited.
“I have been under audit almost, like, since I became famous, OK?” he said.
In defending his decision to not release his taxes, Trump and his administration have repeatedly argued that the matter is settled because he won the election without having released them.
Earlier this month, press secretary Sean Spicer also brought out the audit excuse in declaring that Trump would not release his taxes this year. But like Trump, he did not rule it out completely, when asked if it was safe to say that the president will not release his tax returns at all.
“We’ll have to get back to you on that,” Spicer said.
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