Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that President Donald Trump “has no intentions” to release his tax returns.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Mnuchin during a press briefing on the Trump administration’s new tax plan whether the president would finally make his tax returns public so Americans can see how he would benefit from proposed changes to the tax code.
“The president has no intentions,” Mnuchin said. “The president has released plenty of information. And, I think has given more financial disclosure than I think anybody else. I think the American population has plenty of information on his taxes.”
Mnuchin then cut off Karl as he was attempting to ask a followup question.
“Right there,” Mnuchin said, pointing to another reporter in the briefing room, telling Karl, “excuse me, other people have the right to ask questions.”
While Trump released a large financial disclosure report during his campaign for president, he broke with tradition by refusing to release his tax returns. Every major party candidate since 1976 made their tax information public prior to the election.
Trump has maintained for more than a year that he won’t release his tax returns because he’s under audit by the IRS. Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the returns were still under audit. The IRS can’t comment on whether the returns are being audited, but being under audit does not prevent a person from releasing the returns.
“We’re under the same audit that existed,” Spicer said. “So nothing has changed.”
Asked whether the president would ask the IRS to comment on the audit to prove it exists and provide a timeline for its completion, Spicer dodged.
“I think the president’s view on this has been very clear from the campaign, and the American people understood it when they elected him in November,” he said.
On Wednesday, Mnuchin was asked multiple times about how the changes to the tax code would financially benefit Trump, his family, and his businesses. The Treasury secretary did not provide an answer.
The tax reform outline provided by Mnuchin and National Economic Council chairman Gary Cohn included the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, or AMT. That provision in the tax code cost Trump an additional $US31 million in federal income taxes in 2005, per the leaked tax information Trump filed that year. The AMT does, however, have critics on both sides of the aisle, many of whom believe it does not accomplish its goal of ensuring that the richest Americans don’t avoid paying taxes through a litany of loopholes.
Watch Mnuchin’s answer to Karl:
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