Donald Trump Addresses Not Releasing Tax Returns

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee tells ABC News' George Stephanopoulos why he has yet to release his tax returns.
6:53 | 05/13/16

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Transcript for Donald Trump Addresses Not Releasing Tax Returns
That is fairly certain. Let's engage. Donald Trump, thanks for joining us. What do you think about directive from the administration on transgender rights? Well, I believe it should be states rights and I think the state should make the decision. They're more capable of making the decision. I felt that from the beginning. So you're against this administration's directive? I just think it should be states' rights. I think many things should be states' rights but this is a perfect example. Let us talk about that meeting you had with speaker Ryan. Positive signs and some reports many senators in your meeting with the republican senators suggested you tone down your message on immigration. Are you going to do that? I don't think I toned it down. I want to have strong immigration. I want to have strong borders. Some people agree with me and some don't but for the most part they agree. We have to have strong borders or we don't have a country so, no, I don't think I toned it down of I just got 16,500 border patrol people just endorsed me. First time they've ever done that in the history of the border patrol and, you know, I don't think I've toned it down. I think we want to have strong borders but am certainly willing to listen to people with ideas. Either we have a country or we don't. You won't modify your Pentagons to get their support. They'll have to come to you? No, I don't think that. I think there's certain things we can talk about. I'm not totally inflexible on anything but I feel when it comes to the borders we have to have strong borders, absolutely Let's talk about your tax return. Under new pressure from the Clinton campaign, secretary Clinton talking about that the last couple of days. I just have a bottom line question for you. Yes or no, do you believe voters have a right to see your tax returns before they make a final decision? I don't think they do. But I do say this, I will really gladly give them -- not going to learn anything but it's under routine audit. When the audit ends I'll present them. That should be before the election. I hope it's before the election. But when the audit ends I've had even journalists say that, no, nobody should give until audits are over and have had journalists say that so I think if there's no -- I sort of have to laugh when Clinton says it, Mrs. Clinton said I should give my tax returns. What about all the e-mails or missing Goldman Sachs speeches. Very great hypocrite but as far as I'm concerned I want to give it as soon as possible, as soon as the audit gives, I've been under audit. Every year -- I have wealthy friends that never get audited. As you know the audit is no excuse. The irs has made it very clear an audit is not a bar to public release. It is entirely your choice. President Nixon released his tax returns even though he was under audit and when you were seeking a casino license in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you released the returns to the state officials even though you were under audit. I am under audit now and as soon as the audit ends I'll release my returns. It's a simple thing. If you look at many others, many others feel the same way and almost every lawyer will tell you the same thing when you're under audit you finish the audit before you release. I have no problem and it should be and I hope it's before the election. If you were willing -- By the way, people will learn nothing. I put in financials 100 pages worth of financials that show that I built a company that's worth more than $10 billion. It shows cash. It shows cash flows. It shows everything. You learn very little from tax returns but nevertheless, when the audit is complete, I will release. I have no problem with it. A couple of follow-ups to that. If you are willing to release your tax returns to get a casino license why shouldn't voters see them before they make you commander in chief. Well, because at the time it didn't make any difference to me. Now it does. If you take a look at the picture that we sent you with a tax returns probably ten feet high when you stack them on top and lengthy and complex and built a massive business and want to make sure that everything is perfect. It's a routine audit and get through it first and that's what I'll do. There have been many presidents that have not shown their tax returns. Brian efianbrian efianevery single nominee before 1976 -- Before 1976 -- it used to be a secret thing. I do want it finished. Before that Richard Nixon released his returns but to get to your point on the one hand you show that tack and on the other hand you say people can't learn anything. They can learn a lot. They can learn your sources of income. They can learn whether you have any foreign sources of income or any Swiss bank accounts or other offshore accounts. Do you? I tell you, I do not. I do not have Swiss bank accounts. I don't have offshore -- I really have a very, very clean company and believe me, if I didn't, it would have been reported by 200 groups because there's nobody that has more reporting or more scrutiny than I have. I have given my financials, they're extraordinary. And we would have read if they weren't. Believe me when I release my financial, George and sent them down to federal elections, there was a feeding frenzy by the media and they reported, wow, that is a great company and I have built a great, great company and by the way, when you look at Numbers, when you look at incomes, when you look at all of the things or most of the things you talked about that's reported on the financials. It's not reported on the financials. What they don't know also is your tax rate. They don't show whether you paid a low -- I try to pay as little tax as possible and have said that for the last two years, I fight very hard because this country wastes our money. They take our tax money and throw it down the drain. They spend $4 trillion in the middle east and we can't fix a road or a bridge and I fight very hard. I consider it an expense because, frankly, our country doesn't know what they're doing with our money or tax money and that's part of the problem so I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible. What is your tax rate? It's none of your business. You'll see it when I release but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible. You know, we've talked about this several times over the last several years. I first asked about it in 2011. You said you would release your tax returns then thinking of running for president when president Obama releases his birth certificate. He did. Then you said when secretary Clinton released her e-mails. She turned over all mails in her -- There's plenty of missing. I read yesterday that there were plenty missing. I know you're a good friends of hers. She did not turn over her e-mails. There are a lot of e-mails missing. From her staffers missing she turned over -- They're missing all over the place. The whole thing is a scam. There are e-mails missing all over the place. You said then that you were just going through all of the returns and you will release them now you're throwing up the audit. I never said that at all. I said I will release them upon the completion of the audit like anybody else. I was interviewed last night or the other night by Greta van susteren who is a lawyer. She said I happen to agree with you. Until the audit is complete you shouldn't release them. Thanks for your time. Thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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