President Donald Trump promised during his 2016 campaign that he would eventually release his tax returns after the IRS was done with their audit, but on Sunday, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed that the president never had that intent.
Mulvaney was asked on Fox News if Democrats would ever see the president’s tax returns.
“Oh no. Never,” he replied. “Nor should they. Keep in mind that’s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could’ve given his tax returns, they knew he didn’t and they elected him anyway.”
Mulvaney went on to claim that Democrats were angry at the election outcome and are just bringing up tax returns because “they don’t want to talk to us about policy.”
Watch the video below:
Mick Mulvaney shamelessly gaslights about fact that Trump repeatedly promised he would release his tax returns during the campaign
"That's an issue that was litigated during the election. Voters knew Trump could've given his tax returns, he didn't, & they elected him anyway" pic.twitter.com/mWiprA6fc0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 7, 2019
Trump, however, did promise people would see his tax returns and swore there was a reason that he couldn’t release them during the election. The president has long claimed that the IRS audit on his taxes prevents him from making them public, but that claim has been debunked many times.
Furthermore, Trump has used the audit as an excuse to push back the release of his returns, not to “never” release them as his chief of staff stated this weekend.
“I’m under a routine audit and it’ll be released,” Trump said of his tax returns during a 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton, “and as soon as the audit is finished, it will be released.”
As Vox pointed out, Trump said multiple times leading up to this campaign that the returns would be released and at the time he expressed no problems with doing so.
“I’ll produce my tax returns. Absolutely,” he said in 2014. “I would love to do that.”
“I would release tax returns,” Trump said again in a 2015 interview with talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I have no objection to certainly showing tax returns.”
Democrats are well aware that by now the president won’t release his tax returns on his own, so they’re taking matters into their own hands.
The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee officially requested the tax returns from the IRS last week.
“It is critical to ensure the accountability of our government and elected officials,” Committee Chairman Richard Neal said in a statement about the request.
“To maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.”