Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns. Why? Hard to say for sure in this vast and mysterious world of ours, but it could be because they might expose the extent of his business entanglements, the existence or (more likely) nonexistence of his charitable donations, how little he pays in taxes, or his actual net worth.
Or... is it because he is being audited? No, it’s not because of that. The IRS eventually stepped in to call bullshit on that particular excuse. “Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” the agency said in a statement last year.
Even Eric Trump moved off the talking point, admitting in an interview last year that the decision was ultimately about optics:
They would go through every single page for the last 400 years and they would make issue of everything. You almost couldn’t at this point...
As soon as [Mitt Romney] released his tax returns they just killed him and they pounded him and they pounded him and they pounded him. It almost becomes a total distraction.
And yet there are still some people—at least two people—who continue to repeat Trump’s claim that he can’t release his tax returns because he is currently under audit.
What kind of dummies still believe this? White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Tom Cotton, the junior senator from Arkansas, for two. They made suckers of themselves on the same day, no less!
On Monday, Spicer responded to a question about Trump’s taxes by resurrecting the audit line:
Unfortunately, the White House press corps doesn’t usually boo when someone is clearly lying to them, but Tom Cotton’s constituents do:
Crazy that these two guys still believe this dumb and easily disproven lie, although they clearly must believe it, because otherwise they are just repeating a transparent falsehood as part of a mostly successful campaign to disregard a longstanding anti-corruption political norm.
If you are unsure if you should be booing your member of Congress about Trump’s taxes, here is a list of representatives who voted to block a resolution to compel the president to follow more than 30 years of protocol and release his tax returns.