At the risk of sounding like a liberal voter, Senator Lindsey Graham just had to say, “I think Donald Trump will be the gold standard for stupid Republican candidates,” at the opening of a CNN interview Thursday morning.
“I just want to be on the record with that,” he said, before joining Mitt Romney’s “bombshell” allegations and casting some heavy verbal side-eye at the Republican presidential front-runner for refusing to publicly share his tax records as previously promised, not to mention for exaggerating his worth.
“He claims to be worth $10 billion. Forbes says he’s worth $4.8 [billion]. That’s still a lot of money, but is he exaggerating?” Graham asked, adding:
‘If he wants to be a new kind of politician, then share with the American people your tax returns. How hard is that?’
When asked by CNN’s Kate Bolduan what’s “raising suspicion in your mind,” Graham said:
‘I think he’s probably hiding something. He would be embarrassed by what he showed us.’
Graham then asked Bolduan, “Have you filed taxes for the last five years?”
Bolduan replied that she had, to which Graham quickly followed with, “Could you find your tax returns in a couple of days?”
Bolduan nodded her head and replied, “It’s in the filing cabinet.”
“I think he could, too,” Graham said with enough swagger to give John Wayne’s stunt double a run for his money.
Graham went on to say he believes Donald Trump has not turned over his tax records yet because “he doesn’t want to show us his financial situation.” He said:
‘He’s either exaggerated his wealth, or there’s some transaction in there he may be embarrassed about. I don’t know. But we should not, as Republicans, accept this from a man who has such a tainted past and background when it comes to finances—a man who’s filed bankruptcy four times.’
With friends like these, eh Donald? But Graham wasn’t finished with him yet.
‘We should not accept him at his word. I would not accept Hillary Clinton at her word about her emails. Why should we accept Donald Trump at his word about his taxes…?’
Seems reasonable enough. It’s not like Graham’s parking on the sidewalk with this one, but in the political atmosphere of the 2016 presidential election, there’s a high likelihood that the only people who will care about any exaggerations or embarrassments in Trump’s tax records are his current chorus of detractors. Loud, consistent and on-point as that chorus may be, Trump’s supporters won’t give a lick about any of that, so what would it really matter? Trump’s tax records would have to include transactions so extravagantly illegal that he’d face the big house rather than the White House. Then and only then would a few Trump supporters peel away, only to have twice as many flood right in for reasons science is currently working overtime to understand.
Perhaps all the caterwauling by Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham over Trump’s tax records will bring us just that—a corrupt mega-deal on a platinum platter. One can always hope, at the very least, right?
There’s always hope.
Featured image by Buzz Sourse via YouTube video screen capture.