WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is going to make this year’s promised overhaul of the tax code “much harder.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer says Trump is opening himself to second guessing about his motives for supporting different policies and that the average American will think he’s making changes because “it’s good for him.”
Schumer, D-N.Y., said voters are “going to say, ‘Oh, he’s not doing that because it’s good for me, he’s doing it because it’s good for him.’ So for his own good, he ought to make them public. And the big mystery is why he hasn’t.”
Trump, a billionaire real estate magnate, is the first presidential candidate in decades who has refused to release his tax returns. Critics say Trump’s lack of transparency means the public doesn’t have enough information to determine whether his moves as president could represent a conflict of interest.
“I think he just has an obligation to come clean. When you clean up the swamp, it’s not keeping things secret and it applies to yourself,” Schumer said.
White House Press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that Trump’s financial disclosures are more revealing than his tax returns and that middle class people are more concerned with their own tax bills than with seeing Trump’s taxes.
Trump has promised to cut taxes for middle income workers. His administration is grappling with how to handle the tax issue in the wake of last month’s failure to deliver on promises to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.