President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to release his tax returns, and claimed the American public doesn’t care about seeing them anyway.
“The only ones who care about my tax returns are the reporters,” Trump said during his first press conference since July. “I don’t think [Americans] care at all. I won. I became president.”
But that’s false.
Most Americans are indeed interested in Trump’s tax returns, polling suggests ― very interested, in fact.
Sixty percent of Americans believe the president-elect has a responsibility to release his returns, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this month. And a CBS News poll produced similar results last month, finding the majority of Democrats and independents believe it’s necessary for Trump to share his releases.
Sixty-two percent of Republicans who responded to a Quinnipiac University survey in October said they wanted Trump to release the returns. The Pew poll from this month, however, shows that just 38 percent of the party members feel that way.
Trump has pointed to an ongoing audit to justify his unwillingness to release his returns. But the IRS told The Huffington Post last year that “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” and every Republican presidential nominee in the last nine elections has made this information public.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns was unprecedented. Neither former President Richard Nixon nor former President Gerald Ford released their tax returns before taking office.