Trump Defends Decision Not To Reveal Tax Rate

| by Nik Bonopartis
Republican nominee Donald TrumpRepublican nominee Donald Trump

"It’s none of your business."

That's what Republican nominee Donald Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos May 13 when the latter asked him to reveal his tax rate. The interview, on "Good Morning America," was Trump's latest refusal to immediately release his tax returns or discuss them in detail.

The billionaire told Stephanopoulos he will release his tax returns after an audit is completed.

“You'll see it when I release but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible,” Trump said.

Trump's tax returns have become an issue ahead of the general election as his rival, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, has called on him to open his books to the public.

Clinton is a "hypocrite," Trump said, referencing the former secretary of state's repeated refusal to release transcripts of speeches she delivered to Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs. Clinton flouted Freedom of Information Laws for years in her post as secretary, refusing to release emails -- which are public record -- and ultimately leading to lawsuits by several news organizations and non-profits that had requested the records.

The emails were eventually released, but not before Clinton's staff deleted thousands of them, claiming they were personal. The email scandal is part of an ongoing Department of Justice probe as the FBI looks into the content of the deleted emails and whether Clinton's use of a homebrew server exposed state secrets to hackers.

“I sort of have to laugh when [...] Mrs. Clinton said I should give my tax returns," Trump told Stephanopoulos, a former senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton. "What about all the e-mails or missing Goldman Sachs speeches?”

Trump has moved into a virtual tie with Clinton in several recent national polls since he became the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency. Subsequent polls show tight races in key battleground states, including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Real Clear Politics.

The real estate magnate said he doesn't believe he's required to release his tax returns, but said he would do so anyway after an audit is complete. He did not specify when he would release the records, and stopped short of saying he'd release them before voters head to the polls in November.

“Yes or no," Stephanopoulos asked, "do you believe voters have a right to see your tax returns before they make a final decision?”

“I don't think they do," Trump replied. "But I do say this, I will really gladly give them."

Sources: ABC News, Real Clear Politics / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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