The White House’s latest reason for not releasing President Donald Trump‘s tax returns turned into a personal attack on the intelligence of every Democratic member of Congress from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“The president has been clear since the beginning: As long as his taxes are under audit, he’s not going to release them,” Sanders told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“This is a dangerous, dangerous road, and frankly, Chris, I don’t think Congress — particularly not this group of congressmen and women — are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be. My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything.”
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— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) April 14, 2019
Nearly two weeks ago, Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for the last six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Sanders called the move “disgusting overreach.”
The press secretary doubled down on her statement on Twitter and clarified that the jab was meant for Democrats only.
“Democrats in Congress aren’t smart enough to understand the President’s tax returns and probably don’t even understand how to do their own,” she wrote Sunday night.
Democrats in Congress aren’t smart enough to understand the President’s tax returns and probably don’t even understand how to do their own… https://t.co/wooGn3jVp8
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) April 15, 2019
Democrats were quick to fire back.
“Our freshman class includes intelligence analysts, nurses, veterans, and – ahem – law professors,” Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) tweeted Sunday. “I think we can handle it.”
Our freshman class includes intelligence analysts, nurses, veterans, and – ahem – law professors. I think we can handle it. https://t.co/XORMWW8dEd
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) April 14, 2019
Democrats have been after Trump’s tax returns since he became the first major party presidential nominee in decades not to make their tax returns public in 2016.
Trump and his team have said the president can’t release his returns because he is under audit. As many Democratic lawmakers and critics have pointed out over the years, an audit doesn’t prevent an individual from making their tax returns public.
Meanwhile, Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have been upping the pressure by releasing their own tax returns. On the day Sanders made her criticism, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) released 15 years of tax returns, joining Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.