This is your daily reminder that all roads lead back to Donald Trump’s tax returns
On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted this: “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”
There’s simply no way to check whether Trump’s claim is true because he continues to be the first president in the modern era to not release any of his tax returns, returns that would show his financial relationships (if any!) with Saudi Arabia.
(Sidebar: While there are no Trump properties in Saudi Arabia, Trump did say this about the Saudis on the 2016 campaign trail: “I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much!”)
This is a re-occurring theme of the Trump presidency: He makes a claim regarding his financial holdings — or finances more generally — that simply cannot be verified (or debunked) because we have an incredibly limited window into his actual finances.
A few examples:
* Last fall, as part of his rollout of his tax cut plan, Trump said this (bolding is mine): “Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected. They can call me all they want. It’s not going to help. I’m doing the right thing, and it’s not good for me. Believe me.”