WH spokesman: Trump 'not inclined' to turn over tax returns to Dems

WH spokesman: Trump 'not inclined' to turn over tax returns to Dems
© Greg Nash

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley on Tuesday reiterated that President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE will not turn over his tax returns to Democrats, hours before their deadline for the IRS to provide a House panel with the documents.

"As I understand it, the president’s pretty clear. Once he’s out of audit he’ll think about doing it, but he’s not inclined to do so at this time," Gidley said on Fox News.

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Gidley also said that Trump has filed financial-disclosure forms and that the president was elected in 2016 even though he hadn't released his tax returns.

"It's already been litigated in the court of public opinion and in the election. The president won it fairly and squarely," Gidley said. "He's the president, and no one cares about ridiculous charges about tax returns and all types of other things Democrats are doubling down on today."

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealRepublicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language House votes to boost retirement savings Steyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess MORE (D-Mass.) has requested that the IRS provide six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns. He made the request under a provision in the federal tax code that says that the Treasury secretary "shall provide" tax returns requested by the chairmen of Congress's tax committees, provided that the returns are reviewed in a closed session.

The Treasury Department, not the White House, is expected to determine how to formally respond to the request, and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Artist designs stamp to put Harriet Tubman's face over Jackson's on bills On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers MORE has not said exactly how the department will respond. But Mnuchin is a close ally of Trump and has said that he doesn't want the IRS to be "weaponized" for political purposes.

Neal said that if the administration doesn't meet his deadline, he'll consider the failure to comply a denial of his request. Democrats are expected to take additional steps if the administration doesn't meet the Tuesday deadline, such as issuing a subpoena for the tax returns. Ultimately, Democrats are expecting a legal battle over the documents.

Trump is the first president in decades who hasn't made any of his tax returns public. The president has said he won't release his returns while under audit, but the IRS says that nothing prevents someone from releasing their own tax information.

Neal said that he wants to review Trump's tax returns because the Ways and Means Committee is considering legislation and is conducting oversight relating to how the IRS audits presidents.