Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders sidestepped questions Thursday about when he will release his tax returns, with the Vermont independent hinting he could fulfill his six-week old pledge to make public 10 years of tax returns on April 15 — Tax Day.
Yet, as quickly as Sanders suggested that, he appeared to backtrack and wouldn’t commit that he would release them then.
“Do you know what April 15th is? It’s Tax Day,” Sanders told CNN on Capitol Hill when asked if there was an issue to releasing his taxes. “So, I think we want to make sure we have all of them together and as I said, they will be released soon.”
When asked if that meant he would not necessarily release his tax returns on April 15, Sanders responded, “That’s it. Thank you very much.”
An aide then stepped in front of CNN and said, “he answered your question” and referred CNN to follow up with a Sanders’ spokesperson.
That exchange followed a news conference earlier Thursday on a the House passing a Yemen War Powers Resolution earlier. When asked about the tax returns at that news conference, Sanders declined to answer.
“Today let’s worry about the starving children in Yemen,” he said, before departing the room.
Despite being asked about the returns for weeks, Sanders has yet to release them and his campaign has not explained the process in any more precise detail, even as Sanders has repeatedly said that there is nothing revelatory about his finances. But the pressure to disclose is mounting as his Democratic primary opponents begin to release their own.
“Sooner than later” is what Sanders told Wolf Blitzer at a CNN town hall in February, just a few days after he launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
During the 2016 presidential campaign where Sanders unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination, Sanders promised that he would produce a fuller accounting of his taxes if he became the nominee. He eventually made public his 2014 taxes, which revealed he and his wife, Jane, earned a little more than $200,000 — almost all of it from Sanders’ Senate salary — and paid about $28,000 in federal taxes. They also collected about $46,000 in Social Security benefits. Jane Sanders reported collecting $4,900 as a commissioner with the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission.