GOP senator: Trump should release tax returns

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said at a town hall Friday she thinks President Trump should publicly release his tax returns.

“Do you think the president should release his tax returns so that we know he’s acting in the best interest for the American people?” an audience member asked her during a town hall in Linn County, Iowa.

“I think he should; I think he should,” Ernst responded, prompting loud cheers from the audience.

Trump became the first major-party presidential nominee in decades not to disclose his tax returns during the campaign.

Democrats and handful of Republicans have called on Trump to release more information, with many concerned about his potential financial ties overseas, particularly with Russia.

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Trump has long maintained he could not release his returns due to an IRS audit, but the agency has said nothing would prevent someone from releasing their own personal tax details.

Democrats have been pushing measures on the House floor that would request Trump's taxes from the Treasury Department for review by the Ways and Means Committee. The effort has been shut down by Republicans on several occasions. 

The debate over Trump's taxes was renewed this week when the White House preemptively released some details of Trump’s income and taxes paid in 2005 on Tuesday, before MSNBC could reveal the details on air.

Trump reported $150 million in income and paid $38 million in federal taxes that year, according to his Form 1040.

Trump last Wednesday slammed NBC for releasing the info, which was first obtained by journalist David Cay Johnston. 

“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns?” he tweeted at NBC. "FAKE NEWS!”