In the middle of an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump suddenly "forgot" his I'm-under-audit excuse for not releasing his taxes.
Near the end of a two-part interview with Trump, host O’Reilly noted that Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, has agreed to release his tax returns. “Is that gonna put pressure on your to release yours?” O’Reilly asked. Notice how “Looking out for you” O’Reilly positioned himself as looking out for Trump and not the public’s right to know?
Almost all presidential candidates since 1976 have released their tax returns on Tax Day, in April, well in advance of the election.
Trump and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, have been using an IRS audit as an excuse for his secrecy. Think Progress has explained why – besides the fact that it’s a bogus excuse – this is yet another Trump lie.
But with unintentional hilarity, Trump revealed his own lie right there on Fox News.
First, Trump responded to O’Reilly’s inquiry with his standard “audit” line:
TRUMP: Just so you understand, I’m under audit, a routine audit, and when the audit’s complete, I’ll release my returns. I don’t know when that’s gonna be but when the audit is complete, I’ll release my returns.
But later, as he kept talking, Trump’s bullying instincts must have been so irresistible he didn’t care what a fool he was making of himself. Less than 20 seconds after claiming the audit pretext, Trump claimed to be perfectly willing to release his tax returns after all.
TRUMP: 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 it. Let her release her emails and I’ll return my tax returns immediately.
But even though Trump was supposedly in The O'Reilly Factor's “no spin zone,” O’Reilly didn’t question this flip-flop.
Watch Trump out his own lie, below, from the September 6 The O’Reilly Factor. The discussion about tax returns begins at about four minutes in.