Donald Trump Will Not Release Tax Returns, Says Campaign Chief

By Chika Dunu, Epoch Times
July 27, 2016 Updated: July 27, 2016    

The anticipation over Donald Trump’s tax returns is over.  

“Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday.

“It has nothing to do with Russia, it has nothing to do with any country other than the United States and his normal tax auditing process,” Manafort added.

Trump confirmed the decision at a press conference during a press conference in Doral, Florida, and said he would release the tax filings after an audit is complete.

The disclosure of tax returns by presidential candidates has been a common occurrence since the 1970s, according to Tax History Project, which collects tax data on presidential candidates.

President Richard Nixon released his tax filings in the midst of an IRS audit.

Trump has been fickle about releasing his own tax filings. The Republican nominee had previously reassured the public he’d be open to releasing his returns.

During an appearance on “Fox and Friends” in 2012, the 70-year-old stated if he were to run for president, he’d be willing to release his tax returns. 

“No, I actually think that it’s a great thing when you can show that you’ve been successful and that you’ve made a lot of money and you’ve employed a lot of people,” Trump said. “I actually think it’s a positive. I really think it’s a positive.”

In 2014, Trump said on an Irish television show, “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely.” 

Last year October, Trump stated he’d release his taxes once Hillary Clinton released her emails to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Earlier this year, in an interview with conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt, Trump stated he’ll eventually release his tax returns “at some point, probably.

When Mitt Romney, who sought the Republican nomination in 2012, initially refused to release his taxes, Trump said it wasn’t a smart move.

“I think Mitt was hurt really very badly by this whole thing with the income tax returns. I believe he should have given them April 1, but I didn’t think going into a little bit of detail without going into a lot of detail was positive thing,” said Trump in an interview with Fox News.

There is speculation that Trump isn’t releasing his filings because it will reveal his affiliations with Russia, a point Manafort denied.

“That’s what he said, that’s what I said,” Manafort responded when asked if Trump has financial dealings with Russia. “That’s obviously what our position is.”
 
U.S. officials have said Russia is likely behind the email hack of the Democratic National Committee.