Pressed after Tuesday’s vice presidential debate on his father’s refusal to release his tax returns, Eric Trump said repeatedly that Donald Trump paid a “tremendous” amount of taxes. But he pivoted away from CNN’s Dana Bash’s persistent questioning on whether the GOP nominee paid federal income taxes.
“We pay a tremendous amount of taxes,” the younger Trump said when Bash first asked him point blank if his father paid federal income taxes.
“Federal income taxes?” Bash followed up.
“Yes, and beyond taxes…” Trump said, before shifting to an attack on Hillary Clinton.
Dash interjected, “Yes?” and tried the question again: “Eric, my question is though, has he paid federal income taxes over the last 18 years? Yes or no?”
“Yes, of course, yes, absolutely,” Trump responded. “My father pays a tremendous amount of tax. We as a company pay a tremendous amount of tax.”
He then bragged about the “tremendous amount of people” Trump’s company has hired and the care those people are able to provide their families. He pivoted back to his attack on Clinton
“So if we ever see your father’s income taxes, it will show that he has paid federal income taxes?” Bash said, returning the discussion back to the unreleased tax returns.
“There’s no question about it. We pay tremendous taxes as a company,” Trump said.
Asked if the public will see the tax filings, Trump repeated his father’s line that they would be released after an alleged audit is completed.
(The IRS has said such an audit would not prohibit someone from releasing his or her returns.)
Three times Bash asked Eric Trump, who was again railing on Clinton, if he had seen his father’s returns.
“I don’t study our tax returns,” Trump dodged. Pressed again he said, “Of course you see tax returns.”
“Have you seen your father’s tax returns?” Bash asked one more time.
“Of course I’ve seen my father’s tax returns,” he replied.
She asked again if he’s paid federal income taxes.
“My father pays a tremendous amount of tax, as a company we pay a tremendous amount of tax, and it goes so far beyond federal income taxes,” Trump said. “How about real estate taxes? How about employment taxes? How about sales tax? We pay a tremendous amount of tax as a company that is different than Hillary Clinton, who has lived off the government for the last 40 years.”