Longtime conservative columnist George Will believes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns, to prevent news of his links to Moscow and its ruling oligarchs from emerging in the media during election season. It’s no coincidence that Trump hired Paul “the Butcher’s Lobbyist” Manafort, a notorious Putinist, as his campaign manager in June, whose involvement with the pro-Russian billionaires and crime bosses is extensively detailed in the Panama Papers.
Speaking on Fox News, George Will used his famously sharp intellect to suggest why Republican nominee Donald Trump absolutely refuses to release any of his recent tax returns:
“Well, it’s the sort of thing we might learn if we saw the candidates’ tax returns. Perhaps one more reason why we’re not seeing his tax returns because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russia oligarchs and others. Whether that’s good, bad or indifferent, it’s probably the reasonable surmise.”
Following his exile by the American financial community, Trump has been forced to seek unconventional financing after all those bankruptcies he’s filed. It’s increasingly plausible that he’s looking to Moscow to help make up for his enormous debt.
Trump’s clear and public desire to be best friends with Vladimir Putin has been long expressed on both on the Republican Presidential nominee’s twitter account and in many of his statements.
Vladimir Putin’s Russian Federation has grown its military and is flexing its muscles at over a half dozen of our NATO allies, who Trump just announced at the RNC that he would abandon if our bills weren’t paid.
It was Trump’s only new, major policy or political position unveiled during the Republican convention.
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
George Will quit the GOP in June, when Trump boldly made racist accusations against federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel for his parents heritage, and his party politely excused their red-faced presidential candidate who faces a multi-state class-action fraud trial in front of that judge in November for his Trump University scam. Will doesn’t ‘have a dog in the race’ anymore, and his insightful deduction is the product of decades of reporting for the Washington Post.
Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have released 32 years worth of tax returns. The last Republican nominee for president released two years of returns showing that the multi-millionaire paid a 13% tax rate, waiting until late October before the election before proving then-Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid’s public statements that Romney had paid little or no taxes for a decade. Ironically, Romney’s father George began the tradition of extensive release of taxes in Presidential races back in the 1960s.
The Republican Party must own up to the literally insane mistake it has made in selecting a proto-fascist demagogue for its presidential nominee without even getting one good look at his tax returns, or raising it as an electoral issue to vet their candidate before the primary votes, instead of barely over 100 days before a general election.
This George Will quotation applies doubly to political candidates, and provides a fitting conclusion to this report:
“Voters cannot hold officials responsible if they do not know what government is doing, or which parts of government are doing what.”
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition