One of the many controversies involving Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is his refusal to release his tax returns. The campaign has offered different excuses for the former reality TV star. Originally it was “I’m under audit.” They stuck with that line even after the IRS said there was nothing in the law that forbids someone who is being audited from releasing their return. More recently Trump’s “Mini Me,” Donald Trump, Jr. told a Pittsburgh newspaper that The Donald won’t be releasing his returns because they are too YUGE and complicated.
Of course, the secrecy surrounding the returns has led to rampant speculation about just what could be in them that Trump doesn’t want the public to see. Is he not as rich as he claims? Does he not give to charity like he says he does? Do his returns show he has questionable ties to foreign leaders and governments? Those are just a few of the things many people are asking about Trump’s tax information.
There is also the persistent lie, which has been offered by the campaign as well as some of Trump’s media defenders, that the public doesn’t care about his tax returns. Quite the contrary. Polls show a large majority of Americans want to know more about the candidate’s taxes, including almost two-thirds of Republicans.
Jimmy Kimmel decided to use the tax return issue for another episode of his “Lie Witness News” segment. His reporter went out onto the street and informed passersby that Trump had released his taxes. The reporter makes up a series of outrageous items that appear in the returns and asks Trump fans for their reaction. If you had a dim view of Trump voters before, there is nothing in this video that will make them look any better to you.
The first Trump supporter is asked if he thinks it was acceptable for Trump to have written off his marriages as “entertainment.” The man stares off into space for a moment, then replies that the marriages were entertaining to Trump. At that point the fun is just getting started.
As she talks to each successive Trump supporter, the description of what was supposedly revealed in the returns becomes increasingly over the top. One man says it is fine that Trump listed his occupation as “farmer.” A young woman is told that the returns reveal Trump’s net worth to only be $42,000, not $10 billion. “Does that change your view on him?” the reporter asks.
“Never,” the woman says. When asked if she thinks it was “reasonable” for him to say he was a billionaire when he was basically broke, the woman replies, “Well, we all kind of fib a little bit.”
Next comes a woman who thinks it was great that the Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Cecil the lion. “I think that would be a wonderful thing for him to do, because I imagine the dentist couldn’t afford it himself,” she says.
The most incredible response belongs to another woman who is asked if she is ok with Trump donating $50,000 to the legal defense fund of former Subway spokesman and convicted child molester Jared Fogle. The woman hesitates, and it appears she is searching her mind to recall who Jared Fogle is. She replies that “People donate large sums of cash to legal funds every day.” When the reporter reminds her of who Fogle is, she replies, “Everybody deserves their day in court.”
The segment is both hilarious and pathetic. Not only were the people who were interviewed unaware that Trump still had not released his tax returns, they were absolutely fine with anything they were told had been revealed. So maybe Trump is right — maybe people just don’t care about his taxes. If this small, unscientific sampling of Trump supporters reveals that his voters would have no issue with donations to lion killers and child molesters, would they be upset if they learned that Trump was deeply connected to Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs?
It would have been great to hear the responses if these Trump voters had been told he had donated to Hillary Clinton.
Here’s the segment, from Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Featured image via screen capture