Washington, Sept 15: US President Barack Obama is unlikely to order the release of tax returns of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump even though there is a constitutional provision for it, the White House has said.
"I think it is rather unlikely that the President would order something like that," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said when asked about a little known constitutional provision under which the US President can see and release tax returns of Trump.
Trump, 70, a real estate billionaire, has not released his tax returns arguing that this is under audit. Obama has been slamming Trump for not releasing his tax returns. Earnest said release of tax returns by presidential candidate is volunteer.
"I think there are a couple of principles here. Certainly one thing that is important and certainly something that's been prioritized in this administration is making sure that the work of the IRS is not affected with even the appearance of political influence," Earnest said.
"And in this regard, obviously the President has made clear that he's a strong supporter of Secretary Clinton in the presidential race. I think the second thing, though, is this. No other presidential nominee in either party has ever been compelled to release their tax returns. They've all done so voluntarily," he said in response to a question.
"There's been no reason to resort to obscure sections of the tax code to try to find a reason to force them to release these tax returns. Candidates for at least a generation now -- again, in both parties -- have voluntarily released these tax returns and made them publicly," he added.
"And the President feels that the fact that there's one nominee who won't voluntarily make them public is something the American people should consider as they evaluate their choices for president of the United States," Earnest said.