With Tax March Looming, Watch Fox’s Absurd Defense Of Trump Hiding His Tax Returns

››› ››› ALEX MORASH

Donald Trump broke with decades of precedent in 2016 by refusing to release his tax returns in the midst of his presidential campaign, a stubborn refusal he has maintained since taking office in January. On April 15, the day tax filings are traditionally due, Americans will march in over 100 cities around the country to demand that the president fully disclose his tax and financial records. Before the Tax March, take a look at some attempts by Trump's team of Fox News sycophants to defend his unprecedented refusal to disclose his tax returns.

Trump Is First President Not To Release Any Tax Returns In 40 Years

Trump Is The Only Major Party Candidate To Have Refused To Disclose Tax Returns Since 1976. According to the Tax History Project, President Donald Trump was the first major party nominee to refuse to disclose any tax returns in 40 years. Media have floated many theories for why Trump has refused to release his tax information: He may be covering up the fact that there have been times when he did not pay federal income taxes; he could be hiding that he makes less money than he claims; or he might be trying to disguise that he improperly used funds from his nonprofit foundation. [Tax History Project, accessed 4/14/17The New York Times, 10/1/16, 11/3/16; The Washington Post, 9/20/16, 9/26/16]

Tax Day Marches In 120 Cities Demand Trump Release His Tax Returns. On April 15 -- the day Americans are typically required to file their taxes -- the Tax March will take place in 120 cities around the country with demonstrators demanding Trump release his tax returns. According to The Hill, the march organizers sent a letter to Congress on April 11 demanding that Congress use its power to make Trump’s tax returns public if he refuses to willingly disclose them. In an interview with Good magazine, Tax March organizer Maura Quint explained that Trump’s returns would reveal vital information about any potential conflicts of interest interfering with his presidency and shine light on personal details he has kept hidden from the public. From the April 13 article:

Remember those? Trump claimed he’d release them upon being elected president. He has since backed off that promise—an action (or rather inaction) that has caused an uproar among political leaders, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., as well as average citizens, including Maura Quint, a humor writer and organizer of Tax Day March.

“Tax returns show a lot of information,” Quint tells GOOD. “They give us a clear understanding of who he’s indebted to, where there are potential conflicts, even things like where you donate to charity, and that can give you insight into who this person is.” [Tax March, accessed 4/14/17; Good, 4/13/17; The Hill, 4/11/17]

Fox News Has Repeatedly Defended Trump’s Refusal To Disclose His Tax Returns

Fox's Abby Huntsman Spun Trump’s Tax Release As Proof This Is "Exactly Why" More "Good People" Don't Run For Office. On the October 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Abby Huntsman responded to The New York Times publishing leaked portions of Trump’s 1995 state tax returns as proof of why “other good people” don’t run for office:

[Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 10/2/16]

Fox’s Ainsley Earhardt: It’s A “Nonstarter” To Ask Trump To Release His Returns During An Audit. On the May 12 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt falsely claimed that it was a “nonstarter” for Trump to release his tax returns while being audited, and co-host Brian Kilmeade added that Trump’s brief “financial disclosure forms” were “good enough”:

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/12/16]

Fox’s Greta Van Susteren: “I Would Tell You Not To Release” Your Tax Returns While Being Audited “If I Were Your Lawyer.” On May 11, then-Fox host Greta Van Susteren actually advised Trump during an interview, “I would tell you not to release [the tax returns while being audited], if I were your lawyer,” despite the fact that it would be perfectly legal to do so:

[Fox News, On The Record, 5/11/16]

Fox's Lou Dobbs: Trump Should "Absolutely Not" Release His Tax Returns “When He Is Facing A Hostile National Media.” On the May 11 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs defended Trump’s justification for not releasing his tax returns because of an audit, saying that “hostile national media” will find something wrong with Trump’s tax returns “no matter how pristine” they are:

[Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 5/11/16]

Fox’s Dana Perino: “I Don’t Blame [Trump] For Saying That He Can’t” Release His Tax Returns While Being Audited. During the February 26, 2016, edition of Fox’s The Fix, co-host Dana Perino said, “I don't blame [Trump] for saying that he can't” release his returns during an audit, and co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle added, “It is just not advisable” to release returns while being audited, because “under advice of counsel you would be told, and by your accountant, to not do so”:

[Fox News, The Five, 2/26/16]

Republican National Committee Chairman: “I Just Don't Hear A Lot Of Interest From People In This Subject.” On the September 13 edition of America’s Newsroom, when co-host Bill Hemmer asked then-Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus whether Trump “will go the next two months” of the presidential election cycle “without releasing” his tax returns, Priebus offered the explanation that “we are talking about a garage full of documents ... and right now people aren’t really asking for it”:

[Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 9/13/16]

Fox Host: “No One Is Asking About [Trump’s] Taxes” Anymore. On the September 12 edition of Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto speculated that “no one is asking about [Trump’s] tax returns” while attention seemed to have turned to Trump’s medical records. Priebus responded, “Maybe the people aren't interested in people's taxes”:

[Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/12/16]

Trump Even Cites Fox To Defend His Decision To Withhold Tax Returns

Trump Cited A Fox Host To Defend His Unprecedented Refusal To Release Tax Returns. On the July 28 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Trump used Van Susteren’s own words on his tax return controversy to defend himself against demands for tax disclosure, telling her, “You said yourself, if you were a lawyer, you wouldn't do it.” Trump made the comment on Van Susteren’s show one day after he cited her legal counsel during a July 27 press conference where he was pressed by reporters about his tax returns:

[Fox News, On the Record, 7/28/16; Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/27/16]

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