Donald Trump said he’d release his tax returns, despite a continued audit – but only on one condition.
“I will release my tax returns — against my lawyer’s wishes — when she releases her 33,000 emails that had been deleted,” he said during Monday night’s debate.
Trump has long refused to release his returns, citing the audit as his reason, though the IRS has said there’s no legal reason to keep him from releasing them. His critics have speculated Trump won’t release the documents because they could reveal a bombshell related to his finances or business that could hurt his White House hopes.
Democrat Hillary Clinton picked up that attack on Monday night, noting there’s no rule against releasing the returns so “you’ve gotta ask yourself, why won’t he?”
“First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is; second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be; third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks — or maybe, he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paying nothing in federal taxes,” she said.
Clinton noted the only time the public had seen his tax returns was in the 1990s and they revealed he paid no federal income tax. “That makes me smart,” Trump interjected. But Clinton speculated “it must be something really important, maybe terrible, what he’s trying to hide.”#
She then answered his request for her emails, reiterating her admission that by using a private server during her time at the State Department that “I made a mistake.”
But Trump took the opportunity to go on the attack, declaring “it was more than a mistake — that was done purposefully.”
“When you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth [Amendment], I think it’s disgraceful and believe me, this country thinks it’s disgraceful,” he said.