During an interview on CNN Monday night, contributor Jeffrey Lord got into a testy discussion with Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich and host Anderson Cooper in regards to President Donald Trump refusing to release his tax returns.
Lord reverted to the same argument he tried earlier with CNN’s Keith Boykin, referring to President Woodrow Wilson then claimed that Trump, who earlier said he would release his tax returns, should no longer have to since it would be “politicized.”
Trying to make a point, Lord asked Reich if he released his tax returns when he served in office.
“I’d like to ask Secretary Reich, you were the United States secretary of labor for four years. Did you release your tax returns to CNN and the New York Times and the wider world?” Lord asked.
“I released my tax returns, of course,” Reich responded. “In fact, I released my tax returns, everybody member of the cabinet and every president and vice president is not only required to release their tax returns, but they’re also required to have an audit.”
“This is important, they’re required to have an audit,” Reich continued. “They choose to release the tax returns even though they have an audit — and that’s what’s so weird about Donald Trump.”
Reich went on to tell Lord why it’s so important to release tax returns.
“One of the main purposes is to reassure the public that a president is actually not only obeying the law but, at a time when the public is paying a lot in taxes, the public wants to make sure that their president is basically doing it right,” Reich lectured Lord. “And here we have Donald Trump, who comes into office with all kinds of clouds hanging over his head having to do with conflicts of interest and possible debt to Russian oligarchs and everything else, and he doesn’t release his tax returns for the first time in 40 years. And he says it’s because he’s having an audit?”
When Lord tried to change the subject back to Reich, Cooper jumped in.
“You’re trying to change the conversation, I know it’s a cute argument,” a clearly fed up Cooper told Lord. “We’re talking about the president and why he’s lying or said one thing during the election and is now, y’know — I mean the audit excuse doesn’t hold water.”