Donald Trump says he would “immediately” release his tax returns if Hillary Clinton released all of the deleted emails from her tenure as secretary of state.
“I am under a routine audit, and when it’s completed I will release my returns,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday, repeating a claim he has made routinely during his presidential campaign. “In the meantime, she has 33,000 emails that she deleted. When is she going to release her emails? She probably knows how to find [them]. Let her release her emails and I’ll release my tax returns immediately.”
Following a 2014 request by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Clinton’s lawyers turned over about 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department but deleted nearly 32,000 others that she said were about personal matters.
The Republican nominee, meanwhile, 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 Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have already released theirs. On Sunday, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said he would release his tax returns this week.
“People say you can do it while being audited,” O’Reilly told Trump.
“Nobody would recommend that,” Trump replied.
In an interview with ABC News on Monday, Trump said his decision to delay the release of his tax returns is “not a big deal.”
“I think people don’t care,” Trump said.
The real estate mogul reiterated that claim Tuesday night.
“Nobody cares about this except some folks in the media,” Trump told O’Reilly.
But a recent Monmouth University poll found 62 percent of voters think it’s either very important or somewhat important to them that candidates release their returns, while 36 percent believe it is not.
Clinton has seized the opportunity to needle Trump on the issue, telling reporters this week that his tax returns “tell a story that the American people deserve and need to know,” and that he “clearly has something to hide” in not making them public.
“If he’s going to pursue this campaign, he owes it to the American people to come clean,” she said.