Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hasn’t released his tax returns because they will show that he isn’t as wealthy or as charitable as he claims to be, House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra said Tuesday.
Becerra, D-Calif., made the assertion at a McClatchy’s America breakfast Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
“What’s he hiding?” said Becerra, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. “I think it’s going to become clear that Donald Trump is not as generous an American as he likes to portray in terms of contributions. I think it’s going to be portrayed that Donald Trump is not as rich a guy as he tries to make himself out to be. And he’s all about his value.”
He added that much of Trump’s value is tied to his name and “I gotta tell you: I don’t know by the end of November of 2016 his name will be worth as much as he thinks.”
Trump, who claims to be worth $10 billion, has said he hasn’t released his tax returns because he’s under a years-long audit by the IRS. However, the IRS says there’s nothing preventing Trump from making his returns available to the voting public.
Hillary Clinton has released 30 years of tax returns. Since the 1970s, most presidential candidates from both political parties have released their returns. Richard Nixon released his while he was being audited.
Becerra, the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, said Monday’s contentious opening of the Democratic convention went well, despite protests and boos from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Some Sanders delegates were enraged by Democratic National Committee emails leaked by WikiLeaks that they believe shows that the committee worked against his campaign.
Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida resigned hours before the convention’s opening gavel and the committee issued a profuse apology to Sanders and his supporters “for the inexcusable remarks made over email.”
Becerra, who’s campaigned for Clinton in nearly a dozen states, said Sanders had done a “tremendous job” in making the case to the convention delegates for electing Clinton.
That’s the Democratic Party. That’s democracy. You see all the energy, you see the real fervor, the true belief in little ‘d’ democracy here in the big ‘D’ Democratic convention. I think it’s great.
Rep. Xavier Becerra on Monday’s contentious opening of the Democratic National Convention
“Bernie Sanders understands the difference between holding out and not joining the ultimate cause, which is the election in November,” he said. “He’s got values, but he knows if you want to get things done, it’s so important to elect Hillary Clinton to be our next president.”
This election season has been one of reflection for Becerra, who has served in the House for more than 23 years. He flirted with the idea of running for the Senate seat that’s opening because Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is retiring.
He also was thought to have been considered as Clinton’s running mate, a job that went to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
Becerra deflected questions of Clinton’s vice presidential deliberations. He did say he’d decided against running for the Senate because he thought he could do more in his current position.
Still, he said, “I came very close” to making a Senate run.
“I’ve done so much in the House of Representatives, I’m at a place where now, as the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, I have a chance to make a big difference,” he said. “I think in the near future, I have a chance to make a big difference for my country quicker in the House of Representatives than if I were to try to run for the Senate, win and start from the bottom of the totem pole.”