Donald Trump Jr. says that one reason for not releasing his father’s tax returns ― a tradition followed by every major party presidential candidate in the past 40 years ― is that it would simply invite too much scrutiny from ordinary people.
“He’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from [his father’s] main message,” Trump Jr. said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published Wednesday.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump often cites an ongoing IRS audit as the reason he will not make his tax returns public ― but even he recently admitted he could do so “immediately” if he wanted. Moreover, there is nothing stopping the New York billionaire from releasing returns for previous years not currently under audit. His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has made her returns dating back to 1977 available online.
Last month, Trump’s other son, Eric, gave a similar explanation as to why his father would be better off not releasing his tax returns ― even going so far as to call the move “foolish.”
“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,” Eric Trump said in an interview with CNBC.
Trump Jr.’s remarks to the Tribune-Review come amid increased scrutiny of the transparency of both candidates. On Wednesday, Clinton released medical information revealing more about her pneumonia diagnosis to the public, while Trump shared some new information in a taped interview on “The Dr. Oz Show.” Summing up his failure to provide key information about himself to the public, The Washington Post on Wednesday called Trump “the least transparent major presidential nominee in modern history.”