Business & Lobbying

Trump: Public doesn’t care about my tax returns

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President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday argued that no one but members of the media care about his tax returns, reiterating that he won’t release them while he’s under federal audit.

In his first press conference since winning the presidency, Trump argued he could run his businesses and the government simultaneously but has decided against it.

“I’m not releasing tax returns because, as you know, they’re under audit,” Trump said when asked about releasing his tax returns.

When a reporter explained that presidents for decades have released their returns, Trump cut in and said, “Oh, gee, I never heard about that.”

{mosads}”You know the only ones who care about my tax returns are reporters,” he added.

Trump argued that the public doesn’t care and that it’s an issue only important to reporters.

“I won; I became president. I don’t think they care at all,” Trump said about releasing his returns. “I think you care.”

Trump drew heavy scrutiny for declining to release his tax returns during the presidential campaign. He argued that he would release them once the IRS completed its audit, but the agency has argued that an audit doesn’t stop the president-elect from making them public.

The businessman faced pressure to release his tax returns amid scrutiny over his business interests abroad and ties to Russia, which has remained in the spotlight following the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia over a hacking campaign before the election.

Trump has faced pressure for months from reporters and critics to hold a press conference and answer questions on a litany of issues from Russia to potential conflicts of interest surrounding his business empire. It had been 168 days since Trump’s last press conference.

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