Donald Trump is the first candidate in four decades to withhold his tax returns from public inspection. The Republican nominee’s official reason for breaking with this precedent is that he is currently under audit by the IRS. Which is a lie: People are free to share their own tax information, whether or not they are under audit, as the IRS reminded Trump back in February.
But on Wednesday night, the Trump campaign finally offered the American people some transparency — not about his financial history, but about his motives for withholding it.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Donald Trump Jr. explained that his father will not release his taxes “because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message.”
If Trump revealed the truth about his finances, people might ask questions that would “detract” from his message. Which is to say: If people knew more about the Republican nominee’s finances, it would hurt him politically.
On Thursday morning, Trump himself suggested that he would take a similar policy toward disclosing his medical records.
“I did every test. I did it last week, and the samples all came back and I guess I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if they were bad,” Trump said. “If they were bad, I would say let’s sort of skip this, right?”
If Trump’s medical records were bad, he would try to hide them, right?
Trump has not released his full medical records.
Earlier this week, Trump’s campaign manager said of Clinton’s decision to initially withhold her pneumonia diagnosis from the public: “We hope she’s fully recovering and she comes back to the campaign trail soon. But why all the furtiveness? Why the concealment?”
Asked in a separate interview for details on Trump’s health, Conway said, “I don’t know why we need such extensive medical reporting when we all have a right to privacy.”