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Trump: 'Maybe I'll Release' Tax Returns After Leaving White House

Don't count on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns before he leaves office — or as part of any deal with the Democrats.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he walks to the Oval Office on May 2.Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump now says he's open to releasing his tax returns — after he leaves office.

When asked in an interview published Thursday by The Economist, Trump found no reason to make his tax returns public even if it means Democrats would get on board with his tax plan — a bare bones version of which was unveiled last month.

"I doubt it. Because they're not going to … nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters," Trump said. "Oh, at some point I'll release them. Maybe I'll release them after I'm finished because I'm very proud of them actually. I did a good job."

Related: Who Is Leaking Donald Trump’s Tax Returns?

Trump has often said he can't release his tax returns because he is under an IRS audit, although he has yet to show proof of it. He implied to The Economist that his taxes aren't going to be done any time soon, so he wouldn't want to release them as part of a political agreement.

"I would never do it," Trump said. "That would be … I think that would be unfair to the deal. It would be disrespectful of the importance of this deal. Because the only people that find that important are the reporters."

While Trump has dodged personally releasing his tax returns as every president since Richard Nixon has done, portions of previous returns have been leaked publicly — although it's unclear who is responsible.

Last October, The New York Times published part of his 1995 state tax returns from multiple states that showed he declared a $916 million loss that year.

Then in March, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston provided details from Trump's 2005 federal income tax return to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. It showed he paid $38 million in federal income tax on more than $150 million in income.

The Trump administration has been pushing for a new tax plan that includes slashing taxes for corporations, individuals and large estates — likely cutting taxes for higher-income Americans far more than those in the middle- and lower-income brackets, which could stymie bipartisan cooperation in Congress.

But in the interview with Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told The Economist that he has been meeting with Democratic senators to move forward any plan.

"I think a lot of the Democratic senators actually believe we’re on to the right tax plan to bring back business to America, and that’s what they’re all about, they want to grow jobs in their states, just like the president does," Mnuchin said.