Speaking with Chuck Todd, the NBC moderator of Meet the Press, Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton was clear on the why GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump hasn’t released his tax returns.
“I think he needs to release his tax returns. The only two we have show that he hasn’t paid a penny in taxes,” Clinton said Sunday on “Meet the Press,” referring to a Washington Post report that showed Trump didn’t pay taxes for two years in the late 1970s.
“And yet he goes around talking about “Make America great.” You know? That means paying for our military. That means paying for our roads. That means paying for the V.A. That means a lot of things and if you’ve got someone running for president who’s afraid to release his tax returns, because it will expose the fact that he pays no federal income tax, I think that’s a big problem.”
Trump paid no federal income taxes for at least two years in the late 1970s, according to a New Jersey government report.
Trump, who has declined to release his tax returns during the campaign season, incurred no tax liability in 1978 and 1979, New Jersey gambling regulators found, when they looked into his tax returns and personal finances in connection with the Trump Plaza Corporation’s 1981 application for a casino license.
Trump claimed negative income in both those years: losses of $406,379 in 1978 and $3,443,560 in 1979. In 1975, 1976, and 1977, he claimed $76,210, $24,594, and $118,530 in income, respectively, paying $18,714, $10,832, and $42,386 in federal taxes, according to the document, the Report to the Casino Control Commission.
The regulators “did not ascertain any inconsistent or questionable matters” in Trump’s returns, they wrote.
The findings were included in a report obtained by ABC News and verified by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Although the regulators viewed Trump’s tax returns from 1975 to 1979, they did not include the actual returns in their report to the commission.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee had promised to release his most recent tax returns as a 2016 candidate, but he later declined to do so until an audit is completed. He has faced criticism for that decision, though not required to do so, as presidential candidates have consistently released their tax returns to the public over the last 40 years.
The tax rates paid by Trump are “none of your business,” the GOP candidate told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a recent interview on “Good Morning America.” In the same interview, he told Stephanopoulos that “you’ll see it when I release but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.