When the heat gets turned up on Donald Trump, and he isn’t presented with a fawning interview where the hosts let him spew nonsense without pushback, he predictably melts down like a petulant child.
That is what happened Friday morning on Good Morning America when The Donald was confronted on his refusal to release his tax returns by host George Stephanopoulos. The presumptive Republican nominee was combative throughout the phone (natch) interview, attempting to bully the ABC anchor, but Stephanopoulos stood by his guns and pulled out a quote that will undoubtedly be used by Hillary Clinton and Democrats in the general election.
Prepared with a fact sheet, Stephanopoulos pressed and grilled Trump on all of the reasons he’s given for not releasing his returns. Trump has continually said he’s under audit by the IRS, and won’t make his returns public until it is over. The GMA host highlighted that the IRS doesn’t prevent anyone from making their tax returns public if they are being audited. He also countered that Richard Nixon was under audit when he publicly released his taxes.
Of course, we got more hemming and hawing from Trump, who tried to use Hillary’s emails and Goldman Sachs speeches as a cudgel, calling her a hypocrite in the process. (It should be noted that Clinton has released all of her returns.) Stephanopoulos, thankfully, would not budge, and he kept pressing the former reality TV star on the issue at hand.
After Trump tried to claim that many presidents hadn’t released their taxes, Stephanopoulos helpfully pointed out that every major party nominee since 1976 had done so, leading to a silly response from Trump where he claimed that in the old days, things used to be secret. Following some bluster from the giant Oompa Loompa over his great financials and amazing businesses, Stephanopoulos stepped in and said tax returns do show much more, including sources of income and tax rates.
This led to the seminal moment as Trump’s frustration with being hit hard in an interview finally boiled over. In response to Stephanopoulos asking if he’ll at least provide what tax rate he paid, the Orange One blurted out, “It’s none of your business!” The interview concluded with Trump complaining about Hillary’s emails again and claiming Stephanopoulos was covering for her because of his time working for her husband.
While it won’t impact his standing with his cult one bit, Trump’s lack of transparency regarding his taxes, and the silly excuses he keeps tossing out there, may very well have some effect with undecided and on-the-fence conservative voters who are looking for reasons not to vote for the former Celebrity Apprentice host.
Below is video of the segment: