House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday that Donald Trump should follow his example and release his tax returns to the public, although Ryan left the timeline of the release up to the GOP nominee.
“I released mine,” Ryan told reporters at his daily press briefing, according to ABC News. “I think we should release ours. I’ll leave it to him when to do it.”
“I know he’s under an audit, and he’s got an opinion about when to release those,” he added. “I’ll defer to him on that.”
The Wisconsin Republican made two years of his own tax returns public while running for vice president on the 2012 Republican ticket.
Trump has maintained that he cannot release his returns while undergoing an IRS audit, though the agency said nothing is preventing him from doing so. All presidential candidates since 1976 have made their tax returns public, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has released almost four decades of her own returns.
Trump’s campaign has become increasingly creative with its explanations for his refusal to release the documents. The GOP nominee has suggested that the American public doesn’t care what’s in them and that they do not contain interesting information. Trump’s son, Eric, said that it would be “foolish” to make the tax returns public because people would make misguided “assumptions” about their content. Trump’s eldest son. Don Jr., said the “12,000-page” return would “detract” from the campaign’s “main message.”
Ryan was also asked at the presser if he believed Trump was qualified to serve as president.
“Donald Trump won the nomination,” Ryan replied, avoiding use of the word “qualified.” “Having a business guy as president is not the worst idea in the world, I’ll say that.”