GOP lawmaker: I still care about Trump's tax returns

GOP lawmaker: I still care about Trump's tax returns
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) on Wednesday said it would be a "grave mistake" for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE to think that only reporters care about whether he makes his tax returns public.

"I care — or more aptly said, I still care," Sanford said in a statement. "I cared five months ago when I wrote an op-ed published in The New York Times on this very issue. And I care now because the consequences of not doing so will echo into future campaigns."

During his press conference Wednesday, Trump said that "the only ones who care about my tax returns are reporters."

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The president-elect reiterated that he isn't releasing his tax returns because the IRS is auditing him. However, the IRS has said that nothing prevents people from releasing their own tax information.

Sanford said he wants Trump to release his tax returns because doing so encourages transparency and is tradition for presidential candidates.

"Refusing to release his tax returns now will likely lead to much the same from future presidential candidates, and I predict that a trickle-down effect will occur where down-ballot candidates won’t feel pressured to do so either," he said. “If President-elect Trump wants us to take him at his word, then certainly he should hold true to his former promises to make his tax returns public.”

In the last Congress, Sanford was a co-sponsor of legislation that would require major-party presidential nominees to release their three most recent years of tax returns.

A sponsor of the upper chamber version of the bill, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDems seek to seize on data privacy as midterm issue Hillicon Valley: DHS gets new cyber chief | White House warns lawmakers not to block ZTE deal | White nationalists find home on Google Plus | Comcast outbids Disney for Fox | Anticipation builds for report on FBI Clinton probe Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick MORE (D-Ore.), asked his Twitter followers Wednesday to retweet him if they care about Trump's tax returns. There were 35,000 people who had retweeted Wyden as of Wednesday afternoon.