Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns because they might reveal that "he is deeply involved in dealing with Russia oligarchs," Fox News contributor George Will suggests.
The syndicated columnist has no tangible evidence to back up his claim, which he made on the network's "Special Report" live from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. According to The Hill
, Will made the comment after Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, brought up the possibility that last week's leak of Democratic National Committee emails may have been perpetrated by Russian hackers with government ties. The leak led DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Clinton ally, to resign.
"Both the campaign chair and anybody you talk to, including Sen. (Chris) Murphy (D-Conn.) would not go down that road once pressed on the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign," said Fox anchor Bret Baier. "But they have thrown it out there. George?"
Will replied that "it's the sort of thing we might learn if we saw the candidate's tax returns," which Trump has resisted making public. "Perhaps one more reason why we're not seeing his tax returns — because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs and others. Whether that's good, bad or indifferent, it's probably the reasonable surmise."
Will announced in June that he had abandoned the Republican Party because of Trump's rhetoric. "I decided that, in fact, this was not my party anymore," the columnist said.
Other theories about why Trump refuses to release his tax returns, according to The Washington Post,
He has minimized his taxes. Trump legally avoided paying New Jersey taxes for two years in the 1970s by reporting negative income. Trump has been questioned multiple times on his claims of charitable donations that haven't shown up on official records, and on his personal wealth, which he estimates to be $10 billion but others put at far lower amounts.
Possibly he worries his returns would reveal links to organized crime, something former candidate Mitt Romney
mentioned in a May Facebook post. Fellow former candidate Ted Cruz alluded
to this theory in February in an appearance on "Meet the Press," saying "There have been multiple media reports about Donald's business dealings with the mob, with the Mafia. Maybe his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported."
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