US presidential candidates in recent history have released their tax returns during the election campaign to show the American people there could be no conflict of interest from previous business dealings, and serves as a reference point for any potential president’s pre-inaugural wealth. Trump, who ran on the strength of supposedly being a prodigious business leader, will officially not release his returns, according to senior adviser Kellyanne Conway.
That’s not true, based on the data available. A majority of the American public does care, according to two recent polls by Pew Research Center and ABC (pdf). The polls, both released within the last two weeks, show that 60% and 74% of Americans, respectively, want the returns to be released. According to the ABC data, 49% of Trump’s own supporters say he should release his tax returns, as well as 94% of Clinton supporters and 83% of those who stated they had either another (or no) preference for US president.
The most popular petition on the new White House website also shows major interest in the returns, garnering more than 200,000 signatures since it was posted Friday—twice the amount needed for an official response.
Until now, Trump has said he can’t release the returns because he’s under IRS audit, which is untrue. And he continues to say that only journalists care about his returns.
“President Trump and his family are complying with all the ethical rules, everything they need to do to step away from his businesses and be a full-time president,” Conway told ABC on Sunday. That is also untrue, as there’s no evidence of Trump filing the necessary paperwork, according to ProPublica.