WikiLeaks is calling for the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns after Republican strategist and counselor to the commander-in-chief, Kellyanne Conway said Trump will not be releasing the much talked about files.
The whistleblower site, which was blasted during the US election campaign for only releasing material damaging to the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, tweeted the request with a link to its submission page.
In a second tweet, the group compared the newly inaugurated president’s breach of promise to release his tax returns comparable to Clinton hiding her Goldman Sachs speech transcripts.
Trump came under fire during the campaign trail after the New York Times revealed that he used a nearly $1 billion loss to his advantage and avoided paying federal income taxes.
He repeatedly refused to release his tax information to the public saying they were under audit but pledged to do so after this process was complete.
Conway, however confirmed Sunday in an interview on ABC’s This Week, that he has no plans to do this, stating people don’t care.
“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” she said.
Presidents are not required to release their tax returns, but dating back to Richard Nixon, all US presidents have done so voluntarily.
A petition was launched the day of Trump’s inauguration calling for the release of his tax returns. It quickly reached the 100,000 signatures required to get a response from the White House.
WikiLeaks surprise request has been greeted with mixed reaction among its followers, with many stating they do not care about Trump’s taxes, while others emphasised the wider public want the files released.
Others accused WikiLeaks of “too little, too late”, and circling back to the left with an empty gesture to get on side with liberals again.
WikiLeaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign’s chair John Podesta during the election campaign. US intelligence claimed that the information was leaked as part of an influence campaign ordered by President Vladimir Putin. WikiLeaks have denied the source of data was the Russian government.
In August – speaking via video call from from the Ecuadorian embassy in London – WikiLeaks founder, JulIan Assange, told HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ programme we’re working on releasing Trump’s tax returns.
The group however clarified later in a tweet they they were working on “encouraging whistleblowers”.