For the second presidential election in a row, we’re facing a situation where a Republican candidate is being rather shady about his tax returns. While Mitt Romney eventually released a few back in 2012, Donald Trump seems determined not to release any – which would break a precedent set by essentially every presidential candidate for the last half-century.
First, Trump tried to claim that he would release his tax returns, but wasn’t allowed to because he was currently being audited. The IRS quickly debunked that lie by saying his audit had nothing to do with his ability to release his tax returns, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from repeating this lie on numerous occasions.
Then again, when has Trump ever let something like the truth get in the way of whatever nonsense he’s trying to con Republican voters into believing?
Now it seems the Trump campaign is taking a new tactic when it comes to defending his continued refusal to release his tax returns: The American people are simply too stupid to understand them.
No, seriously, that’s what Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist Paul Manafort said during a recent interview with The Huffington Post:
I will be surprised if he puts them out. I wouldn’t necessarily advise him to. It’s not really an issue for the people we are appealing to. His tax returns are incredibly complicated. I wouldn’t understand them, so how are the American people going to? The financial disclosure he put out gives the salient points.
The only people who want the tax returns are the people who want to defeat him.
First, I love how he assumes that because he can’t understand them, no one would be able to. That’s not arrogant — at all. Then I also liked how he essentially admitted that Trump’s supporters are such mindless sheep that the campaign knows they’ll never dare question anything he says or does – though if this were someone like Hillary Clinton refusing to release her tax returns, Republicans would be losing their minds right now. But then he also had a bit of a Freudian slip when he claimed that the only people who want to see his returns are people who want to see him lose in November.
But wait, if Trump has nothing to hide in his tax returns, why would releasing them help those individuals “defeat him”?
Again, this isn’t something extraordinary anyone is asking Trump to do to “get him.” This is a common practice that’s been done for decades by practically every single presidential candidate.
Then there’s always the obvious fact that there are literally millions of tax and financial people in this country who are more than qualified to decipher Trump’s tax returns. Not to mention, just about every single media entity who would dig into his reports has paid experts who are employed by these companies to do things like, I don’t know, analyze a billionaire’s tax returns.
We all know this is nothing but another flimsy excuse by the Trump campaign to avoid releasing documents that they clearly know would do some severe damage to his chances at winning in November.
When you get right down to it, it doesn’t really matter why he said it, this was Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist flat-out saying that there’s no point to release his tax returns because the American people are simply too stupid to understand them.