- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019

Sen. John Kennedy said Thursday he believes Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal has an “ulterior motive” in requesting six years of President Trump’s taxes.

“I think he has an ulterior motive. I think he hates President Trump,” the Louisiana Republican said on CNN’s “New Day” show.

When asked to elaborate on why he thinks this, he said, “It’s just my judgment.”

“Based on everything he said, he doesn’t appear to me to be objective, and I think he wishes President Trump hadn’t won the election,” he continued, adding “everything he says is hateful.”

When inquired if he wanted to see Mr. Trump’s taxes, Mr. Kennedy said, “I would like to, but I think he has — if you take the president at his word — he’s in the middle of an audit. His CPA’s say don’t turn it over, and I take him at his word, and I respect that.”

Mr. Kennedy added all presidents should turn in their tax returns, and he would consider doing the same.

Mr. Neal’s office did not immediately respond to comment.

The Massachusetts Democrat requested earlier Wednesday for the IRS to release Mr. Trump’s tax returns from 2013 to 2018.

The letter read, “Under the Internal Revenue Manual, individual income tax returns of a President are subject to mandatory examination, but this practice is IRS policy and not codified in the Federal tax laws.”

When asked about the request, the president said he’s “always under audit it seems” and added, “until such time as I’m not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that.”

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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