When asked Monday by Fox News host Bret Baier whether President Donald Trump might ever release his tax returns to the public, commentator Charles Krauthammer offered a blunt and pithy reply.
“Never,” he said. “This issue is dead. It is a dead parrot.”
He made the statement during a discussion on anti-Trump protests carried out over the weekend across the nation by demonstrators intent on forcing the president to release his tax returns.
This issue of taxes has been a thorn in the president’s side since he announced his candidacy for office two years ago, when zealots who opposed his potential presidential began demanding he release his returns so they could be examined for possible conflicts of interest.
Despite all the hoopla, both Trump and a number of others maintained that his tax returns were completely irrelevant to his candidacy.
During an interview last year with Bloomberg, for instance, even noted Trump critic and billionaire investor Mark Cuban claimed that Trump’s taxes were “absolutely irrelevant” and not indicative of his true net worth, though he still believed the then-GOP presumptive nominee should have released them anyway.
Disagreeing with both Cuban and Krauthammer was Mollie Hemmingway, senior editor at The Federalist, who Monday evening argued that the president’s taxes are important because “people need to understand where money is coming from to determine whether there are conflicts of interest, particularly for someone who had so many conflicts.”
She did add, however, that the chances of Trump actually releasing them were very low, especially since the pro-release movement was dying down.
As an example, she pointed to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow having made a big show in March of releasing a single return from 2005 that disclosed Trump had made a tax payment of $38 million that year.
“People saw he was paying taxes, at least that one year at a high-dollar amount, and just I don’t think the energy is there anymore,” Hemingway said.
Moreover, it was believed that significantly fewer people attended the tax marches over the weekend than attended the Women’s March in D.C. three months ago.