Thursday, November 3, 2022

the last book I ever read (Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, excerpt nine)

from Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America by Maggie Haberman:

Seated around one of the gold-adorned tables in the main cabin, Corey Lewandowski told Trump that his tax returns were becoming an issue they needed a plan for. The press secretary, Hope Hicks, pointed out that every other Republican and Democratic candidate had put out their taxes and that the pressure would increase after a strong Super Tuesday performance. Trump reclined in his leather seat, then looked across the aisle at his former rival Chris Christie. “Romney made a huge mistake, releasing his taxes,” Trump observed, referring to the decision of the previous election’s Republican nominee, whose returns showed him paying a lower effective tax rate than many working-class Americans.

Trump thought for a second about how to “get myself out of this,” as he said. He leaned back, before snapping up to a sudden thought. “Well, you know, my taxes are under audit, I always get audited,” Trump said. Christie looked puzzled. “So what I mean is, well I could just say, ‘I’ll release them when I’m no longer under audit,’ ” Trump said. “ ’Cause I’ll never not be under audit.” There was no legal prohibition keeping Trump from putting them out, even if they were under audit, Christie pointed out. “But my lawyers,” Trump said. “I’m sure my lawyers and my counsel will tell me not to.” He told his bodyguard, Keith Schiller, to reach out to his assistant, Rhona Graff, once they landed. Almost immediately, he began citing the claim that he couldn’t possibly release his under-audit taxes.

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