- At Thursday night's debate, President Donald Trump once again did not clarify specifically when he would release his tax returns and did not commit to doing so before the November election.
- When the moderator asked him for a specific deadline, he said he would release them "as soon as the auditors finish."
- Four years ago during the 2016 election, Trump also said he would release his tax returns "as soon as the audit is finished."
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President Donald Trump once again did not commit to a specific date before the election to release his tax returns, saying they are still "under audit."
At the presidential debate on Thursday night, former Vice President Joe Biden pressed Trump to release his tax returns. Trump did not commit to releasing them and instead responded: "First of all, I called my accountants under audit. I'm going to release them as soon as we can."
Moderator Kristen Welker gave him another chance to say when he would release his tax returns and she specifically asked for a deadline. He once again wouldn't commit to a specific date.
"As soon as the auditors finish," Trump said.
A New York Times investigation published last month found Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. At a September press conference, Trump also responded to questions about his taxes by saying they are "under audit" and called the report "fake news" without providing evidence to the contrary.
Although he has said he's paid "millions of dollars in taxes," the president has never released documentation to show it, breaking a norm that dates back to the 1970s.
Biden released his 2019 tax returns ahead of the first presidential debate, which showed he and his wife paid nearly $300,000 in federal income taxes last year.
2016 all over again
During the 2016 election, Trump became the first major presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns, per the Washington Post.
In addition to commenting that not paying taxes "makes me smart," Trump also declined to commit to a definitive date on when he would release his tax returns because he was under audit then.
"I'm under a routine audit, and as soon as the audit is finished, it'll be released," Trump said during a presidential debate against former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Instead of disclosing his tax returns or committing to a specific date of when he would do so, Trump responded by criticizing his opponent. Trump said he would disclose his taxes if Clinton released emails deleted from a private server she used while she was the US secretary of state.
Similarly at last night's debate, instead of committing to disclosing his tax returns, Trump repeatedly claimed Biden was involved in his son's business dealings, although there is no evidence this is the case, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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