Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton drew boos at a town hall meeting on Monday when he defended President Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.
One person at the town hall suggested that Trump's tax returns would show his overseas business connections, CNN reported.
The president's critics believe business connections in Russia point to that country's attempt to influence the election in Trump's favor. Trump has denied any business dealings in Russia.
"As far as your points about his relationships overseas, I would just make two replies: Every federal officeholder, every candidate for office files a financial disclosure statement that shows your assets and your liabilities and second, it doesn't take a lot of effort to find out where Donald Trump has connections overseas. He normally puts his name on buildings where he has them," Cotton told the questioner at Monday's event.
That's when the boos started.
Unlike some Republicans, Cotton has consistently defended Trump's decision not to release his tax returns, even though he said during the campaign he would do so. Trump later qualified that promise, saying he would release them when he was no longer under audit.
The IRS has said its rules do not prohibit an individual from releasing his or her tax returns when under audit. Democrats have seized on the issue amid the probe of Russian meddling in the the American election. A growing number of members of Trump's own party have joined the effort.
They include Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. David Young of Iowa. Young has said he thinks Trump should release his taxes as all presidential candidates have done since Jimmy Carter, but he voted against a resolution by Democrats to force Trump to release them in February.
Three members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, however, have signed the Democrat-led Presidential Tax Transparency Act. They are Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida, and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.
Following nationwide protests on Saturday, the traditional tax day of April 15, that called for Trump to release his taxes, the president tweeted:
ABC News' Jonathan Karl at Monday's White House daily briefing asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer if it was time to say "once and for all" that Trump was never going to release his tax returns.
"We'll have to get back to you on that," Spicer replied.
"That would be thrilling," Karl said. "So he may?"
"No, I said I would have to get back to you on that," Spicer said. "I think he is still under audit. The statement still stands."
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