- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2016

Those attacking Donald Trump over his tax returns and his publicist fail to realize that most voters don’t care, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday.

Mr. Priebus said the presumptive GOP presidential nominee “represents such a massive change to how things are done in Washington that people don’t look at Donald Trump as to whether or not he releases his taxes or what this story was 30 years ago.”

“People look at Donald Trump and say, ‘Is this person going to cause an earthquake in Washington, D.C., and make something happen?’ That is it. That’s how he is being judged by the American people,” said Mr. Priebus on ABC’s “This Week.”

Some of the criticism has come from 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and #NeverTrump Republicans.

“So all these things that we’ve been analyzing for a year and that Mitt Romney’s obsessing over, it hasn’t done a thing. And that, I think, people are missing about Donald Trump,” Mr. Priebus said.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has taken shots at Mr. Trump for failing to release his tax returns, while he has said he will do so after the IRS finishes its audit.

Trump strategist Paul Manafort said Sunday that the IRS audit goes back eight years.

“This is a story the media is interested in. It’s not an issue middle America is interested in, frankly,” Mr. Manafort said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”Donald Trump has been very clear, he will release them, he will comply when the audit is done.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump was spoofed on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” over claims that he sometimes talked to reporters pretending to be his own publicist. Mr. Trump has denied posing as “John Miller” in a 1991 phone interview recording released last week by a People magazine reporter.

Mr. Manafort described the tape as “totally irrelevant,” adding that he could barely understand the muffled audio.

“If Donald Trump says it’s not him, I believe it’s not him,” Mr. Manafort.

Asked about some of the Trump-like phrases used in the audio, such as “tremendously successful,” Mr. Manafort said, “I’ve been working for Donald Trump six weeks. I’m using words he uses. I’m not the person on that tape.”


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