Eric Trump, the son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, says it would be “foolish” to release his father’s tax returns while under audit by the government.
“There is no tax attorney in the world who will tell you to release your tax returns while you’re under a standard routine audit. It would never happen. I mean, anybody who thinks that is in la la land,” he said in a Wednesday interview with CNBC.
“You would have a bunch of people who know nothing about taxes trying to look through and trying to come up with assumptions on something they know nothing about. It would be foolish to do,” he added.
The IRS has said individuals are not prohibited from sharing tax information while being audited. There is precedent for doing so: President Richard Nixon released his tax returns during an audit. Moreover, there is nothing stopping Trump from releasing previous returns for years not currently under audit.
A growing number of Trump supporters have also called on the GOP nominee to release his tax returns. Roger Stone, a longtime Republican political operative and current Trump ally, on Monday called on the businessman to release his returns “immediately.” And in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) warned his continued ability to support Trump will “in part be driven by whether Mr. Trump keeps his word that he will release his tax records.”
But Eric Trump remained unconvinced by calls to release the information. He swatted down allegations that his father was involved with the mob, and argued that a person’s assets ― not their tax rate, tax write-offs or charitable deductions ― mattered more to the public interest.
“I also hear these conspiracy theories all the time. You don’t learn that much from a tax return in all fairness,” he told CNBC. “I heard someone the other day, ‘Trump has ties to the mob. If he released his tax returns you would clearly see that.’ Are you guys kidding me? You learn a lot more when you look at a person’s assets. You know how many hotels we have around the world? You know how many golf courses we have around the world?”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.