When you think of Donald Trump, what are the first two words that come to mind? For the IRS, the answer is “strong Christian.” Or so the Donald would have you believe.
In recent weeks, the GOP front-runner has faced escalating pressure to release his tax returns. But, for whatever reason, he doesn’t want you to see them. So when asked whether he would make the documents public last night, Trump claimed that the IRS had made it impossible for him to do so.
“As far as my return, I want to file it, except for many years, I’ve been audited every year,” Trump said. “Twelve years or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me … I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three [years’ worth] now so I can’t.”
The thing is: He can.
“I’m not sure why that prevents him from releasing his returns. They are his to release,” Stanford law professor Joseph Bankman told Politico.
So, the fact that he’s being audited is a poor excuse for Trump not releasing his returns. His excuse for why he’s being audited was even poorer.
Asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo to explain his troubles with the IRS, Trump reasoned, “Maybe because of the fact that I am a strong Christian … you see what’s happened, you have many religious groups complaining about that.”
What other incentive would a tax collection agency have for targeting a billionaire real-estate mogul?