Donald Trump really needs to rethink speaking to the media if he wants to continue hiding so many things about himself.
Not since 1976 has any presidential candidate run without releasing his or her tax returns. Trump, however, is insisting on doing so, and George Stephanonopolous pushed him to say why on “Good Morning America.”
‘Let’s talk about your tax return: under pressure from the Clinton campaign, Secretary Clinton talking about that over the last couple of days. I just have a bottom line question for you, yes or no? Do you believe voters have a right to see your tax returns before they make a final decision?’
‘I don’t think they do, but I do say this,’ Trump answered. ‘I will really gladly give them, not going to learn anything, but it’s under routine audit, when the audit ends…that should be before the election, I hope it’s before the election, but when the audit ends. I’ve had even journalists say that no, nobody should give until audits are over. I’ve had journalists say that. So I think that there’s no…I sort of have to laugh when Clinton says that. Mrs. Clinton says that I should give my tax returns. What about all the missing emails that she’s got…?’
Trump went on, doing his best to avoid the question and deflect attention, focusing on Clinton’s emails and Goldman Sachs speeches, but Stephanapolous did what a journalist does: he continued to try to get Trump to answer the original question.
‘As you know, Mr. Trump, the audit is not an excuse. The IRS has made it very clear that an audit does not bar the release. It is entirely your choice. President Nixon, President Richard Nixon released his tax returns even though he was under audit and when you were seeking a casino license in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you released your tax returns to state officials even though you were under audit.’
‘I am under audit now and soon as the audit ends, I will release my returns, it’s a very simple thing.’
‘And almost every lawyer will tell you the same thing: when you’re under audit, you finish the audit before you release. I have no problem…’
The audit, however, is not preventing him from releasing his returns. So when Stephanapolous continued to point this out and finally asked him to just answer what tax rate he’s paying, Trump finally just had a meltdown.
‘It’s none of your business.’
Then he attacked Stephanapolous as a friend of Hillary’s, because Donald Trump shouldn’t have to answer questions and when he’s asked to, the journalist must be involved in some kind of a conspiracy against him. Oh, and emails. Remember those emails.
‘I know she’s a good friend of yours, and that you worked for her, though I know you didn’t reveal it. But there are a lot of emails missing.’
Trump’s tax returns are not going to be excused. It is childish and deflecting of responsibility to continue to say, “She did it first!” Insisting that anyone who dares to hold you responsible is involved in some kind of conspiracy against you is great for soundbites, but is this acceptable for someone competing for the highest office in the land?
This is who the GOP voters think would make a good president?