President Donald Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he “might” turn over what he called his “financial statement” over to Congress, which has been seeking to obtain the president’s federal tax returns.
In an interview that aired Sunday night called “President Trump: 30 Hours,” Trump mentioned his finances to Stephanopoulos after discussing his previous plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“When you will see my financial statement, at some point I assume it’s going to be released, you’ll be very impressed by the job I’ve done,” Trump said. “Much much bigger, much, much better than anybody―”
“Which financial statement?” Stephanopoulos asked, to which Trump responded, “Uhh, they’re after my financial statement.”
When Stephanopoulos asked the president if he plans to turn over his tax returns, Trump said: “No, at some point I might, but at some point, I hope they get it because it’s a fantastic financial statement. It’s a fantastic financial statement.”
In the middle of this portion of the segment, Trump halts the interview to scold someone for coughing, then turns to the camera as if ABC is filming a reality TV show and not an interview. (The camera doesn’t show who’s coughing, though Stephanopoulos said the person was White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney).
Democrats have requested copies of Trump’s federal tax returns, but the Treasury Department has repeatedly blocked their efforts contrary to federal law that allows lawmakers to access such documents. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refuses to follow the tax law and hand Congress the requested tax returns, and he has defied a subpoena for those same documents.
Mnuchin alleges that Congress has no legitimate legislative purpose for the president’s tax returns, the same claim the Trump administration has made in his repeated blocking of congressional investigations.
Though his administration refuses to hand over the documents, Trump told Stephanopoulos that his tax returns are “phenomenal.”
Stephanopoulos: “it’s up to you―”
Trump: “No, it’s not up to me. It’s up to lawyers, it’s up to everything else. But they’re asking for things that they should never be asking for, that they’ve never asked another president for. They want to go through every deal that they’ve ever done, they’ve ― what they’re doing is a disgrace.”
Stephanopoulos: “You know other presidents have turned over their tax returns.”
Trump: “They’re trying to do: step, step, step. They want to keep it going as long as possible to try to demean and hurt as much as possible so they can possibly win the presidential election. They’re not going to win the presidential election. Nobody’s done, in two-and-a-half years, the job I’ve done as president.”