The Washington Post says the Trump administration's "bizarre response" to the president's leaked tax information only raises more questions.
"With characteristic incoherence, the White House simultaneously boasted that leaked data from President (Donald) Trump's 2005 tax return demonstrates that Mr. Trump paid his fair share of taxes and denounced the 'dishonest media' for publishing these flattering facts," the newspaper notes in an editorial.
"But there would be no need for reporters to 'illegally' publish such information, to quote the White House's absurd accusation against MSNBC and investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, if Mr. Trump himself had simply honored the decades-old tradition of releasing his returns while still a candidate for the office he now holds.
"The bizarre response to the leak only deepens the mystery as to why he still refuses."
The newspaper says the leaked portion of the tax return revealed Trump paid $38 millio — or about a quarter of his taxable income — to the IRS. But it said additional returns, along with complete details, are needed to erase all questions.
"Unless and until Mr. Trump releases his returns, including all supporting materials, we are entitled to assume that he has something to hide, whether it's embarrassingly chintzy charitable contributions, chronic exaggerations of his wealth, business ties to Russia — or some combination of the three," the newspaper says.
It also calls on the president to release his returns for 2016.
"If he wants to engender public trust in his leadership, he'll seizes that chance," the Post says.
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