Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said he will release his tax returns this week and Donald Trump will follow suit — eventually.
“Donald Trump and I are both going to release our tax returns,” Pence, the Indiana governor, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I’ll be releasing mine in the next week. Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns at the completion of an audit.”
Will that audit be completed before the election?
“Well, we’ll see,” Pence replied.
Trump has rejected repeated calls to release his tax returns, a custom for presidential candidates, saying his lawyers have advised him not to do so until the audit is complete. But the Internal Revenue Service has said Trump is free to make his tax returns public whenever he wants.
Both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have already released theirs.
But in terms of transparency, Pence said the bigger issue is Clinton’s decision to have a private email server as secretary of state. In notes from a July interview with Clinton released Friday by the FBI, she told investigators she could not recall getting any briefings on how to handle classified information.
“The revelations in this FBI interview, I truly do believe, give evidence of the fact that Hillary Clinton is the most dishonest candidate for president of the United States since Richard Nixon,” Pence said.
The FBI also said it requested 13 mobile devices that could have been used to send classified emails, but her lawyers could not produce any of them.
“The issue here is not one of information that was not available or the incomprehensible decision that she made as secretary of state to have a private server in her home, 11 different BlackBerries and mobile devices. But really, rather, it all goes to the question of ‘Why did she do that?‘” Pence said. “And the other emails that have come out in the last several weeks really give evidence of the fact that it was all an effort to paper over and conceal a pay-to-play process that was underway while she was secretary of state.”
Last month, Clinton dismissed Trump’s call for an investigation of the Clinton Foundation after emails showed a foundation official reaching out to the State Department on behalf of donors.
“My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces,” Clinton said. “I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right, to keep Americans safe and protect U.S. interests abroad. No wild political attack by Donald Trump is going to change that. And in fact, the State Department has said itself that there is no evidence of any kind of impropriety at all.”
Clinton said the Clinton Foundation has been far more transparent than the real estate mogul’s business interests.
“The foundation is a charity,” Clinton said. “Neither my husband nor I have ever drawn a salary from it. You know more about the foundation than you know about anything concerning Donald Trump’s wealth, his business, his tax returns. I think it’s quite remarkable. His refusal to release his tax returns is even more concerning given the recent news that his businesses are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to big banks, including the state-owned bank of China, and business groups with ties to the Kremlin.”