Protesters Call For Release Of Trump's Taxes

Apr 16, 2017
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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Thousands of Americans turned out in cities across the country yesterday calling on President Trump to do something every president has done going back to Gerald Ford - release his tax returns. Violence erupted at one of those rallies, and many people were arrested in Berkeley, Calif., where groups that support and oppose the president clashed. But there was also a protest near Mar-a-Lago, the private club where the president is spending this Easter weekend. From West Palm Beach, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: As a candidate, Donald Trump said he wouldn't release his tax returns because he was being audited by the IRS. When pressed on the issue, he said he doesn't think most Americans care. Yesterday, in Washington, New York and dozens of other cities, protesters loudly said that's not the case.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Donald Trump has got to go. Hey, hey, ho, ho.

ALLEN: In West Palm Beach, several hundred protesters marched along the Intracoastal Waterway to a bridge just a few hundred yards from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, including Robert Saplin of Tamarac, Fla.

ROBERT SAPLIN: Seems like he's been getting away with not paying his taxes, not paying his fair share. And there's all this talk about Russia and conflicts of interest.

ALLEN: At a rally in Washington, D.C., Democratic members of Congress said they'd keep the pressure on the president to release his taxes. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has said the president's refusal to release his taxes could undercut his push for tax reform. Also Saturday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a lawsuit against the IRS for failing to release the president's tax returns in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. In West Palm Beach, some of those marching said they'd taken part in protests almost every weekend since Trump was sworn in. Even so, Lisa Saunders said she's not optimistic this national protest would lead the president to release his taxes.

LISA SAUNDERS: No, but maybe it will spur Congress to force something to be done about his taxes.

ALLEN: After spending the morning at his golf club, the president's motorcade took a circuitous route back to Mar-a-Lago, one that seemed aimed at avoiding protesters. Greg Allen, NPR News, West Palm Beach, Fla.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And this morning, President Trump tweeted his view of the protests. He wrote, someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over - exclamation point.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALT-J'S "INTRO") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.