President Donald Trump caught a lot of flak throughout the presidential election for not releasing his tax returns—something every president since Nixon has for good reason done—but alleviated concerns of financial corruption by promising repeatedly that he would release his tax returns if he won, and/or when the IRS audit he claimed was taking place ended.
Those appears to have been lies, and the White House press corps has been asking Mr. Trump about those campaign promises, to which Trump denied ever making them.
“That doesn’t sound like me,” explained Trump while traveling to a rally in Pittsburg, PA. “I don’t remember ever promising I’d release my tax returns, and I believe it’s fake news that I ever said that. My tax returns are the cleanest tax returns you’ll ever see. Everyone at the IRS is talking about how clean they are. They say they cannot believe how clean my tax returns are. They say it would blow everyone’s minds if only they knew. I wish everyone could see them, but, you know, the audit. No Russian connections whatsoever, though, that I can tell you. I definitely have not been laundering illicit money in my international hotels for over a decade, and I definitely have not been selling apartments and other properties to Russians for way higher than the market value as a form of bribery to purchase my influence as a perennial presidential campaign flirt since the 80s. No way. That’s all fake news. And I definitely do not stand to profit in any way personally, indirectly, or directly from the release of Russian sanctions on Russian energy interests in the Ukraine, Syria, and the Middle East. I definitely had nothing to do with Michael Flynn’s plan to help Russians build nuclear power plants across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and my efforts to change US policy against Russia have had absolutely nothing to do with my repeated refusal to criticize Russia or Vladimir Putin in American media despite the egregious assaults on our democracy, media, and free elections that the entire US intelligence apparatus has agreed took place. It’s merely correlation that my behavior has seem to be so pro-Russia at this time of Cold War-esque digital militancy. Trust me. Just correlation. No causation whatsoever. I also had nothing to do with Paul Manafort and Rick Gates’s repeated contacts and communications with Russian operatives. Nothing at all. They just happened to be running my campaign at the same time, but there’s nothing suspicious about that, I guarantee it. Rick Gates even stayed on in my administration while continuing to talk to his Russian contacts, but, again, nothing to do with me or my administration. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to colluding with Russia while he was working for my campaign, but that’s also not related to me in any way. Rick Gates has also pleased guilty to some of this stuff, but I don’t know why he did that because—I totally, 100% promise he did nothing guilty of any kind while working for me. I also had nothing to do with Cambridge Analytica, Guccifer2.0, Jared Kushner giving intelligence to Saudi Arabia, or any of the plethora of firings of my administration staff. I, Donald Trump, have never done anything illegal, corrupt, or amoral in my entire life. I am the most innocent person you’ve ever seen. Trust me. I promise. I swear. Everyone’s talking about it all the time. I hear it all the time. Someone told me this morning it blew their mind when they realized how innocent I am. Trust me. I guarantee it. That I can tell you. That I can tell you. Did I say ‘trust me’ already? If not, trust me.”
(Picture courtesy of Gage Skidmore.)