In a new ad, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton slams Donald Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, connecting his refusal to his dealings with Russia.
The ad comes amid increasing scrutiny of Trump regarding his business ties whether to Russia or other foreign nations, but also domestically, and the potential for conflicts of interest should he be elected president, with many claiming that there is no way for Trump to eliminate some of his conflicts.
The Clinton ad, which is entitled ‘Investigation,’ begins with text that reads “Donald Trump’s deep ties to Russia are a real problem. And a detailed investigation shows us why.”
The ad then shows a news reporter speaking about an investigation that showed that the Republican nominee’s “real estate fortunes have benefited greatly from Russian investors putting a tough U.S. policy with Russia in direct conflict with his bottom line.”
It then shifts to conservative columnist, George Will, who earlier in the campaign speculated that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is connected to his dealings with Russia. As a sidenote, while not part of the ad, in that same interview, Mr. Will became one of the first political pundits to predict that Trump is not going to release his tax returns, and certainly not before the November presidential election.
The ad ends with text reading “No more excuses, Donald. Release your hidden tax returns.”
Over the past few years, Trump has repeatedly stated that he would release his tax returns subject to some condition precedent being met, one of those times, he conditioned their release on President Obama releasing his long form birth certificate. The President produced his long form certificate, but that only resulted in Trump claiming that the birth certificate was a fraud, one of the many times that he disputed seemingly indisputable facts in order to continue his birther claims.
Trump was also on record in 2011 and again, in 2014, that if he were to make a run for office, he would absolutely produce his tax returns.
However, during his presidential campaign, Trump has steadily refused to release his taxes, initially using a new excuse, that he was under audit — although he has produced scant evidence of that — and most recently, his sons and surrogates have raised the excuse of the taxes being too complicated for the American public to understand.
Donald Trump Jr. most recently claimed that if Trump were to release his taxes, it would open up new lines of attack on the real estate mogul, a claim which has been universally criticized by all except Trump’s diehard supporters.
Based on Trump’s and his surrogates claims, it is highly unlikely that Trump will release his taxes before November 8th, if ever.