Sarah Sanders claims Congress ‘not smart enough’ to understand Trump’s tax returns

Conrad Duncan

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has claimed members of Congress are not “smart enough” to understand Donald Trump’s finances after Democrats formally requested the president’s tax returns.

When Fox News host Chris Wallace asked whether Mr Trump will order the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to defy Congress’s request, Ms Sanders refused to give a clear answer.

She instead went on to criticise congressional Democrats.

“This is all about political partisanship,” Ms Sanders said.

“This is a dangerous, dangerous road and frankly Chris, I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of Congressman and woman, is smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume president Trump’s taxes will be.”

“My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything,” she added.

House Democrats have set a deadline of 23 April for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to turn over several years of Mr Trump’s personal and business tax documents.

Mr Trump broke from political convention during the 2016 presidential campaign by refusing to release his tax returns.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton has released tax returns from 2000 to 2015 .

Ms Sanders’ comments come as Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris released 15 years’ worth of tax documents.

The records show Ms Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, have paid more than $2.2m (£1.7m) in federal taxes over the past five years, according to her campaign.

Ms Harris has followed fellow Democratic candidates Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren by releasing her tax returns.

Senator Bernie Sanders has also said he will release his tax filings after he described himself as a millionaire earlier this week.

Mr Sanders has dismissed suggestions that his newfound wealth, which is believed to have come from book sales following his 2016 campaign, undermines his political message.