Donald Trump on the presidential debate stage Monday night repeated his claim that he would release his tax returns…once the political world bends to his will.
“I’m under a routine audit, and it will be released. As soon as the audit’s finished, it will be released,” Trump began, before pivoting.
“I will release my tax returns against my lawyer’s wishes when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted,” he continued, later, in reference to Hillary Clinton.
The line earned him cheers from the audience, prompting moderator Lester Holt to interject: “Let me admonish the audience one more time. We did ask you to be silent, so that would be helpful for us.”
Trump frequently uses such excuses. Before he claimed to have ended his five-year-long birther crusade, he used to say he would release his taxes when President Barack Obama released his birth certificate.
Of course, no IRS audit stops Trump from releasing his returns.
“I think you just saw another example of bait and switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns,” Hillary Clinton responded. “You can go and see nearly, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear, there is no prohibition on releasing it when you’re under audit.”
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