Despite a majority of the public deeming it his responsibility as president, it does not look like Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns.
In Sunday's interview with ABC's This Week, Trump's senior counselor said that the president will not release his tax returns, despite pressure from the media, the public, and other members of government. Today, Counselor Kellyanne Conway, who served as Trump's campaign manager, clarified the White House stance on the tax returns issue, tweeting that he will not release his returns while he being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.
On taxes, answers (& repeated questions) are same from campaign: POTUS is under audit and will not release until that is completed. #nonews— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 23, 2017
"The White House response is that he's not going to release his tax returns," Conway said on This Week. During the interview, she was asked about a petition that, as of Sunday, had received over 220,000 signatures, reports The NY Times. The White House must issue a response to petitions with over 100,000 signatures, though Conway seemed to make it clear that Trump is not planning to release his tax returns anytime soon.
She suggested that it is the media and not the general public that cares about Trump's tax returns. In a Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this month, 60 percent of respondents said that he has a responsibility to issue his returns.
During the campaign, Trump became the first major-party nominee in over 40 years not to issue his returns, and should he make no effort to do so as president, he will be the first president since the 1970s to refuse to release tax information.
Many of those calling for Trump to release his returns, such as the director of the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, think that he has an ethical duty to do so, seeing that the returns could reveal business concerns that might interfere with his presidency. Some suspect that the information might show that Trump was dishonest about his wealth or the success of his many businesses during the campaign.
It is unclear as to when the audit that Trump is currently subjected to might be completed. In February, Trump said that he had been under audit for 12 years. The IRS has said that an audit does not prevent the release of one's tax returns.