Donald Trump took to Twitter this afternoon to clarify an interview with The Associated Press in which he reportedly said that he did not intend to release his tax returns before the election in November.
"In interview I told @AP that my taxes are under routine audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election!" Trump wrote.
In interview I told @AP that my taxes are under routine audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2016
"There's nothing to learn from them," Trump told The AP about his tax returns in an interview Tuesday, citing an ongoing audit of his finances as the main reason for withholding the information. He has also said he doesn't believe voters are interested.
On Sunday, the presumptive Republican nominee told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’d be willing to release them should the audit be finished in time.
When asked if he would pledge to release them before the election, Trump responded, "Sure, if -- if -- if the auditors finish. I'll do it as fast as the audit is finished. Remember this, I've already given my financials. And my financials show I'm worth more than $10 billion by any stretch of the imagination.”
Such a move is nearly unprecedented in modern elections. Indeed, Trump will be the first presumptive major party nominee since 1976 not to release his tax returns. He has maintained that he cannot release his returns because they are under audit and has provided documentation to attest that the audit is ongoing.
While tax experts advise against releasing returns while under audit, Trump could legally do so, leading opponents to question the veracity of his claims.
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who released his returns as a candidate in January 2012, predicted a bombshell in Trump’s returns.
“I think we have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes,” Romney said in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto earlier this year. “Either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing.”
He added: "I released my financial statements and everybody was amazed at how big and how great the company is, much bigger than they thought and it's a great company. Very little debt, tremendous cash flow, some of the best assets in the world.”
It was during that interview Trump had said he would release his taxes “at some point,” later adding he was in “no rush."
And, in an interview with Stephanopoulos the day that he announced his candidacy, Trump seemed open to the idea of releasing his returns.
"We'll see. I mean, we're gonna see. I would say the answer is 'yes,' but I sort of have been - putting it on Hillary [Clinton]," Trump said then.
Clinton released her tax returns in July 2015.