Donald Trump

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Trump says he might release his tax returns—once he leaves office

Did Trump just set a new timeline?


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on May 11, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 2:44 pm CDT

During his presidential campaign (and even before he announced his candidacy), President Donald Trump said he would release his taxes. He, of course, never did.

Though a January CNN poll noted that 74 percent of people want Trump’s tax returns to be part of the public record—and despite the fact a march was organized around the idea that people care very much about what his 1040s contain—Trump and his advisers have said for the past few months that he won’t release his taxes, because, they say, nobody cares.

Now, during an interview this month with the Economist—the same interview in which he claimed the copyright for the common phrase, “prime the pump”—Trump said he might release his taxes… once he’s out of office.

Here’s the transcript:

Economist: Mr President, can I just try you on a deal-making question? If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?

Trump: I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to…nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. 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.

Hope Hicks [White House director of strategic communication]: Once the audit is over.

Trump: I might release them after I’m out of office.

Just a reminder: Trump has proposed a tax bill that would cut taxes for corporations and individuals, and since he won’t release his returns, people have no idea how his desires for tax reform would affect his bottom line.

“If he doesn’t release his returns, it is going to make it much more difficult to get tax reform done,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last month. “It’s in his own self-interest.”

Unless Trump plans to reform the tax code when he’s no longer the president, it will be interesting to see if Trump capitulates and eventually releases his returns before he’s out of the Oval Office. Because, at this point, it still seems like plenty of people care.

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*First Published: May 11, 2017, 3:28 pm CDT