"He can obviously release them if he wants to," said Daniel Shaviro... But Shaviro conceded, as other tax experts have, that Trump's lawyers may advise him not to release the returns for legal strategy purposes. "I can imagine either my lawyer or my PR adviser saying 'don't' until the audit is over."What of the strange claim that the IRS may be auditing Trump every year because he's a Christian?
"But the one problem I have is that I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair. I don’t know, maybe because of religion, maybe because I’m doing something else, maybe because I’m doing this, although this is just recently.... Well maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian, and I feel strongly about it. And maybe there’s a bias.... You see what’s happened. I mean, you have many religious groups have been complaining about that. They’ve been complaining about it for a long time."I can imagine the IRS targeting him... but because he's "a strong Christian"? I assume he has a reason for saying that, perhaps to draw in Christians who worry that the government is persecuting them. He's just wafting a suspicion, so, no proof needed, right? But this casual stirring of paranoia feels off. Is there something Christian in the tax returns that we'll eventually see? Is he tempting us down a rat hole?
ADDED: Who says "a strong Christian"? It's like Mitt Romney calling himself "severely conservative."
Or is it? I see the similarity, but Meade is seeing a difference. The difference might be something like: Romney's use of the odd phrase — which seems as though it should have been "strict conservative" — made us suspect that he didn't normally talk about himself that way, didn't have the common expression handy, and thus that he wasn't really conservative. Trump may simply be using his go-to adjective "strong" with the relevant noun "Christian," and inventing his own novel phrase. That is, he wasn't even trying to get to a stock phrase like "devout Christian."
BUT: Googling "strong Christian," I can see reason to think it is something of a standard phrase. I'm finding a classic sermon called "Strong Christians" that begins with the text from Ephesians, "My brethren, be strong in the Lord" and continues:
A weak and cowardly soldier is a pitiful object, but a weak-kneed, cowardly Christian is still more so. S. Paul told the Ephesian Christians to be strong in the Lord, and in these days especially we need strong Christians, strong Churchmen. I do not mean that we want men to presume on their strength, to repeat the sin of the Pharisee of old, and talk of their righteousness, or condemn their neighbours. I do not mean that we must be noisy and violent, and quarrelsome in our religion. None of these things are a proof of strength. A giant of power is ever the gentlest, having the hand of steel in the glove of silk. So the stronger a Christian is the more humbly he bears himself. A writer of the day says very truly, "if the world wants iron dukes, and iron men, God wants iron saints."Read the whole thing!