Donald Trump explained today why he will NEVER release his income tax returns, and it’s hard to argue with the logic of his stonewalling. In an extended interview with Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” this morning, he went through his usual “My returns are being audited, and I won’t/can’t release them until that’s over.” No news there. That’s been his position all along.
But then he let us know why he would NEVER release them. Trump went on to say that Mitt Romney released his taxes in September, 2012, and critics found “one teeny, tiny” something-or-other to criticize. Trump stated unequivocally, “That cost him the election”. He went on to demonstrate with his hands that his own returns were “that thick” (compared to Romney’s “puny” return).
Case closed. Todd could have sympathetically noted that he now understood that Trump was really saying he’d never, ever release them. After all, why would he make himself vulnerable to spending the rest of the campaign explaining away the myriad things that might require explanation and/or defense (and/or could be revealed by others as just plain wrong). Why risk an election when he didn’t have to? Had he done so, Todd would have had himself a major scoop. As it was, he moved along to other subjects.
But at least all the rest of us can lay to rest any hope we ever had of a voluntary release and turn our energies elsewhere. It flat-out ain’t gonna happen. Absent a Daniel Ellsberg or a Julian Assange inside the IRS who might purloin Trump’s tax returns and make them public, this subject is closed (except for whenever Trump himself chooses to pep up a slow news day or reclaim the spotlight by hinting that his voluntary release of his tax returns could be coming just any day now…)