Kaine Questions Trump’s Charity Giving in Salvo Over Tax Returns

  • Clinton running mate insists that Trump makes returns public
  • Remarks come a day after Clinton, Kaine released 2015 records

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine shares a moment with his wife, Anne Holton, during a campaign event on Aug. 1, 2016, in Richmond, Virginia.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Tim Kaine, Democratic nominee for vice president, said Saturday that Donald Trump won’t make public his tax returns because they may show the Republican presidential candidate hasn’t been the generous charitable giver he claims to be. 

“What doesn’t he want to show?” the Virginia senator said at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, the only public event by the Clinton campaign this weekend.  “We might find that this generosity that he is claiming is just smoke and mirrors. I think that’s probably the case.”

The remarks come one day after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, made public their 2015 tax return. The document showed the couple earned adjusted gross income of $10.6 million last year and paid $3.6 million in federal income taxes. Kaine on Friday made public a decade’s worth of tax information.

Kaine and his wife Anne Holton, who resigned in July as Virginia’s education secretary, paid an effective federal tax rate of 20.3 percent in 2015 on $313,441 in adjusted gross income, according to a copy of their return. Over the past 10 years, the couple have donated 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity, according to the campaign’s news release.

Under Audit

Trump has refused to release any of his tax returns for public inspection, departing from 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, has also not released tax returns.

Trump, the billionaire real estate developer, has said that he’s under an audit by the Internal Revenue Service and won’t release his returns until that’s concluded -- which may not happen before the Nov. 8 election. IRS officials have said there’s no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns to the public, even if they’re being reviewed.

The Clinton campaign has used Trump’s refusal to release the documents to raise questions about the candidate’s business dealings, including whether Trump would benefit from the tax plan he pitched during a speech in Detroit on Aug. 8.

On Saturday, Kaine used the issue to challenge Trump’s support for veterans and others who rely on taxpayer money for health care and other basic services.

“If you look at a guy’s tax return and you find that he’s using every trick and dodge he can to not pay any taxes, then there’s a guy whose trying to dodge supporting our veterans,” Kaine said.

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