Voters ‘Deserve’ to See Trump’s Tax Returns

Hillary Clinton answers a question from a reporter on her campaign plane enroute to Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

The former secretary of state pointed to news that Mr. Trump’s foundation made a political contribution in violation of federal rules as evidence that voters need to know how the New York real estate developer handled his own finances. And she rejected his assertion that the American people don’t care about his tax returns.

Speaking to reporters during a flight to Florida, Mrs. Clinton said the Republican nominee’s bankruptcies, his legal entanglements and his much-criticized Trump University also constitute what she called a growing body of evidence showing sketchy financial dealings.

“The list goes on and on — the scams, the frauds, the questionable relationships,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Clearly his tax returns tell a story that the American people deserve and need to know.”

Mr. Trump says he won’t make his tax returns public until an audit concludes. That’s not a legal prohibition, and Mr. Trump and his lawyers have ways to delay the audit’s end. He has also refused to release summaries of his tax returns or documents from years that are no longer under audit.

“People don’t care,” Mr. Trump said of his tax returns. “I don’t think anybody cares, except some members of the press.”

Mrs. Clinton said her Republican rival was “dead wrong,” about voters’ interest in candidates’ taxes, adding that Mr. Trump’s claim that an audit precludes him from making his returns public “has been disproved repeatedly.”

Mr. Trump is the only major party nominee since 1976 to decline to release any tax returns. The returns would reveal his reported income, his tax payments, his charitable contributions and details about his financial entanglements beyond the required disclosure form that he already filed.

Mrs. Clinton said Tuesday she would continue to raise this point, calling it a fundamental issue in the campaign.

“We’re going to talk about it one way or another for the next 62 days because he clearly has something to hide,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We don’t know exactly what it is, but we’re getting better guesses about what it probably is. If he’s going to pursue this campaign, he owes it to the American people to come clean and release those tax returns.”

Mr. Trump’s finances have come under renewed scrutiny in recent days amid new details about a $25,000 contribution his foundation made in 2013 to a political group tied to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, after New York filed a fraud lawsuit against Trump University.

Foundations are prohibited from donating to political groups, and Trump aides have called the contribution a clerical mistake. Mr. Trump paid the Internal Revenue Service a $2,500 penalty, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said last week. The campaign hasn’t said whether that was paid because the charity was giving to a political group or because it was self-dealing, or covering Mr. Trump’s personal costs.

Mr. Trump told reporters Monday that he never discussed Trump University with Ms. Bondi.

“I never spoke to her,” Mr. Trump said. “She’s a fine person beyond reproach. I never even spoke to her about it all.”

Ms. Bondi’s office never investigated Trump University in 2013 and the matter never reached her level for a decision, said Whitney Ray, a spokesman for the attorney general. One staff member reviewed New York’s complaint for any relationship to Florida.

Mrs. Clinton, who has faced persistent questions about her family’s foundation and potential conflicts of interest that emerged during her time at the State Department, suggested Tuesday that she has been held to a higher standard than her Republican rival on questions of transparency and ethics.

“A lot of this behavior coming from him seems to be expected somehow,” Mrs. Clinton said. “That’s fine if you’re a reality-TV star or you’re a real estate developer. I don’t think it’s fine if you want to be president of the United States.”


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