Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explained the two main reasons President Donald Trump is terrified of his tax returns.
Johnston laid out his theory during in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.
The host noted Johnston’s recent article pointing out that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could go to prison for five years for not turning over Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chair.
“David, tell us what you can about — based upon your having seen one of Trump’s tax returns, I think it was 2005, what is he most sensitive to about people like us knowing … what does he want to keep secret?” Matthews asked.
“Well, Chris, there isn’t now and there never has been any evidence, verifiable evidence, Donald is a billionaire. He’s not a billionaire,” Johnston replied. “That’s one thing he’s worried about.”
Johnston is the author of the 2016 book The Making of Donald Trump and the 2018 book It’s Even Worse Than You Think; What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.
“Secondly, he’s worried that an audit will show tax cheating,” he continued.
“Let’s not forget, Donald was tried twice for tax fraud, civil tax fraud, and was found in both cases to have engaged in fraud,” he reminded. “He was excoriated by the judges in both cases.”
“His own tax lawyer testified against him,” he continued. “His tax lawyer said, ‘That’s my signature on the tax return, but I did not prepare that tax return.’ That’s a very strong badge of fraud.”
“And you notice that his sister, Maryann Trump Barry, as soon as she came under investigation by judicial authorities, because she’s a federal judge, as a tax cheat, resigned,” he added.
WATCH: Larry Kudlow wilts under barrage of questions about Trump’s conflicting trade war comments
Larry Kudlow, who appeared to have been drinking before his FOX News appearance last Sunday, probably wished he was drinking this Sunday after his stammering performance on CNN where he faced a barrage of questions from "State of the Union" fill-in host Brianna Keilar.
Speaking from France where he is attending the G7 conference with Donald Trump, Kudlow was put on the spot over the president's comments where he seemed to express regret over launching a trade war with China.
Mnuchin begs Chris Wallace: Take the president ‘very literally’ except on being ‘the chosen one’
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted on Sunday that Americans should take President Donald Trump's hyperbolic comments "very literally" -- but he allowed for some exceptions.
During an interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace noted that Trump had recently "ordered" companies not to do business with China.
"When the president says something, how seriously, how literally should we take it?" Wallace asked.
"I think most of the time, you should take it very literally," Mnuchin insisted. "I think sometimes he says things that are meant to be a joke."
White House spokesperson ridiculed for ‘pathetic’ spin on Trump’s trade war admission: ‘Does she think we believe that?’
Hours after Donald Trump blithely admitted that he had "second thoughts" about his trade war with China that has damaged the U.S. economy and helped set the stage for a possible recession, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham was forced to issue a clarification about the president's comments.
Addressing Trump's G7 response about his tariffs, widely interpreted by the press as expressing some regret, Grisham issued a statement saying the president meant that he wished he had increased his market-destroying tariffs even more.
"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'" White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham relayed. "His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."