In a press conference this morning, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan added to the chorus of voices calling for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Trump has so far refused to do so, claiming that his returns for at least the last four years are being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.
Ryan, who was answering a question from a reporter, said that releasing tax records was a good thing for a candidate for national office to do, but said Trump should do so on his own schedule. Ryan, who has had an up-and-down relationship with Trump, noted that he had released his tax returns in 2012 when he was the vice-presidential nominee.
Earlier this morning, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. offered a new explanation for why his father won’t release his returns: people would give Trump a hard time about what they read.
“Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create…financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message,” he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, and Trump’s own running-mate, Mike Pence, have all released their tax returns. Trump’s tax filings would reveal details about how much money he makes annually, his tax rate, his business partners, and his charitable giving. Every major presidential candidate since at least Richard Nixon has made these records public.