- Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton gave a minute-long answer during the first presidential debate about why Donald Trump should release his tax returns.
During the debate Monday evening, Trump said that he would release his tax returns when the Democratic presidential candidate produced thousands of emails Clinton deleted when she was serving as secretary of state.
“I’m under a routine audit, and as soon as the audit is finished, it’ll be released,” Trump said.
He added: “I will release my tax returns against my lawyers wishes when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.”
Clinton pointed out that Trump could legally release his tax returns despite the IRS audit.
“You’ve just seen another bait-and-switch here,” Clinton said, pointing out that every major presidential candidate since former President Richard Nixon has released his tax return.
“So you’ve gotta ask yourself: Why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.”
Trump broke into Clinton’s comments to praise his judgment for not paying federal income taxes at points during his career.
“That makes me smart,” Trump interjected
Clinton said that Trump’s existing financial disclosures did not provide enough information.
“I have no reason to believe that he will ever release returns, because there’s something he’s hiding,” Clinton said.