US President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a number of tweets in a bid to downplay Saturday’s protests across the country demanding the release of his tax returns. “Someone should look into who paid for the small organised rallies yesterday (Saturday),” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying in a tweet. “The election is over!”
“I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?” Trump tweeted minutes earlier. Demonstrators in dozens of US cities and towns, including Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Palm Beach, where Trump was spending Easter Weekend at his resort Mar-a-Lago, marched on Saturday to demand Trump release his tax returns. Some rallies were joined by thousands of people.
During his campaign and after the election victory, the Trump camp repeatedly refused to release Trump’s tax returns, saying Trump’s tax returns were under audit. However, many tax experts say Trump is not barred from releasing the information during the audit.
While US Presidents are not required to release their tax returns, nearly all US Presidents had voluntarily released them since 1970s. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in January, Kellyanne Conway, senior counsellor to Trump, told US media that Trump would not release his tax returns, citing voters’ indifference to the issue as one of the reasons.
However, multiple polls have found that the majority of Americans want Trump to release his tax returns. Comedy writer Frank Lesser, whose tweet in January sparked the idea for the Tax March, said the participation in the nationwide marches proves that people want to see Trump’s returns.
“We march to demand that the President release his returns, as he has repeatedly promised, but failed, to do,” the Tax March website reads. “We march because it is in the best interest of the American people to know what financial entanglements and conflicts of interest our leaders have.”
A petition demanding Trump release his tax returns garnered more than 1 million signatures. Many lawmakers, including some Republicans, have also called on Trump to make them public.