MARK CUBAN: The smartest thing Donald Trump has ever done is not release his tax returns
Allan Smith,Business Insider Wed, Sep 14, 2016
(Mark Cuban.Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban thinks Donald Trump’s most brilliant move has been to avoid releasing his tax returns.
“The smartest thing he’s ever done is not release them because he’s created a talking point that just consumes more time so that he doesn’t have to talk about anything of importance,” Cuban told Business Insider in a Monday interview.
Cuban added that “we already know” what Trump’s taxes would show regarding charitable donations, crediting Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold for having already “ripped him apart” on it.
Fahrenthold recently wrote of how Trump used his charity as a vehicle to spend other people’s money.
“So maybe his tax returns confirm or maybe they contest what he said,” Cuban said. “But we already know he’s full of s— on tax returns on charity, right?”
Cuban mentioned the ongoing scandal regarding the Trump Foundation’s illegal 2013 campaign donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, which has received increased attention recently after the Internal Revenue Service recently slapped the charity with a $2,500 fine. The Washington Post found that the foundation did not list the contribution in its tax filings, and Trump later reimbursed the foundation for the donation.
A Trump Organization senior vice president told The Post that it was “an honest mistake” that the contribution wasn’t properly listed.
Bondi at the time was considering whether to take up a fraud investigation into the now-defunct Trump University. She decided against doing so.
“He tried to cover up the foundation’s donation to Pam Bondi, and you know, the cover-up hasn’t been worse than the crime, but that’s OK, we already know,” Cuban said. “So what are his tax returns going to tell us? The operational quality or earnings of his businesses on his K-1s?”
“Well we know he’s in real estate, so we know he’s going to have huge losses and he’s going to work it that way,” he continued. “I think maybe, if he gave them, all we’re going to do is argue about the quality or what they mean, which again means not dealing with any other issue. It’s just stupid. I get why everybody is doing it, but at the same time, it doesn’t really accomplish anything.”
Cuban also said he “could care less” about Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, recently releasing 10 years of his tax returns to the public, adding that Trump would almost certainly never release his tax returns.
“Why would he?” Cuban asked.
The Manhattan billionaire has repeatedly said he will release his returns once an audit from the IRS is completed. That may not happen before the election, Trump has said.
All major-party presidential nominees since 1976 have made their tax returns public.