However, according to the White House, Obama is "unlikely" to take advantage of a widely overlooked rule in the Internal Revenue Code that would allow him to see and release Trump's returns for him.
The language, flagged first by a POLITICO reporter during today's White House briefing, is under I.R.C. 6013(g), which outlines how a president "upon written request" can obtain the "return or return information with respect to any taxpayer."
If those returns are requested, the code reads, the person “shall not disclose such returns ... without the personal written direction of the president.”
"I think it is rather unlikely that the president would order something like that," Earnest said. "One thing that is important is making sure that the work of the IRS is not affected with even the appearance of political influence."
Trump has repeatedly insisted he will release his tax returns himself once he is allegedly no longer under audit, though the IRS has no restrictions on releasing returns that may be under audit.