CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer repeatedly pressed Eric Trump on Tuesday over whether his father paid federal income taxes over the last two decades.
In an interview shortly after the vice presidential debate in Virginia, Bash asked the son of the Republican presidential nominee about a copy of Trump’s taxes that showed he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years, asking if Trump could “just put this to rest.”
“We pay a tremendous amount of taxes,” Eric Trump responded.
When Eric attempted to pivot, casting Clinton’s public service career against Trump’s work as a businessman, Bash interjected.
“Eric, my question, though: Has your father paid federal income taxes over the past 18 years?” Bash asked.
Eric reiterated his claim that his company pays a “tremendous amount of taxes.” He promised his father will release his taxes once the IRS has concluded an audit and slammed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s refusal to release transcripts of private speeches given to financial firms after serving as secretary of state.
“Eric, I’m pretty impressed, quite frankly. You haven’t been in politics long, but you’re doing the pivot quite well,” Bash said. “If you could just put a button on this: Have you seen your father’s tax returns?”
“I don’t study our tax returns, that’s why you have an accountant,” Trump responded.
“But have you seen them?” Bash asked. “You’re confident that he’s paid federal taxes?”
“I’m answering the question. Of course I’ve seen my father’s tax returns,” Trump said.
Blitzer also jumped in, noting that the Republican presidential nominee has not released taxes that aren’t under audit.
“Why not release that tax returns that are no longer under audit?” Blitzer said.
Trump said that he was unaware of tax returns that were not under audit, and characterised the line of questioning as “a whole distraction.”
The line of questions came Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine sparred over Donald’s refusal to release his tax returns, as well as revelations that the real-estate magnate could have avoided paying taxes for 18 years after reporting a $916 million loss in 1995.
Watch the exchange below:
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