Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for US president, says voters do not have the right to see his tax returns.
“It’s none of your business,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News on Friday, when he was pressed on what tax rate he pays. “You’ll see it when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.”
“I don’t think they do,” Trump said, when asked if voters have a right to see his tax returns before the general election in November. “But I do say this, I will really gladly give them.”
The remarks signal that the billionaire developer from New York has little intention of disclosing verifiable details of his income, breaking a four-decade tradition among major party presidential nominees.
Trump has said that he will release his 2009-2014 tax returns as soon as a “routine” audit is complete. Nevertheless, has not disclosed previous returns that are no longer under any kind of audit.
The celebrity businessman, who often boasts of his wealth on the campaign trail, has come under pressure from his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and others to make his tax returns public.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, said earlier this week that Trump was seeking to hide “a bombshell” from the American voters, calling the decision to withhold the records “disqualifying.”
“Given Mr. Trump’s equanimity with other flaws in his history, we can only assume it’s a bombshell of unusual size,” Romney wrote in a post on Facebook.
Romney explained that Trump’s tax returns could contain information about “inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups.”
Trump, however dismissed the idea that his refusal to disclose his tax returns was a transparency issue.
“People are going to learn nothing,” Trump said. “You learn very little from tax returns, but nevertheless when the audit is complete I will release. I have no problem with that. . . I don’t have Swiss bank accounts, I don’t have offshore. I have a very, very clean company.”