Jul 27, 2016 4:06 AM GMT
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-hidden-tax-returns-take-new-significancewhen circumstances warrant a return to an old story, the coverage can change. The Atlantic’s James Fallows noted today, for example, that Russia’s alleged intervention in the U.S. presidential election has changed the calculus.These new developments underscore the importance of an old, familiar point: now, more than ever, Donald Trump must release his tax returns. To put it differently, the press should no longer “normalize” his stonewalling on this issue. [emphasis in the original]
As another veteran figure in the defense world and political affairs wrote to me this morning: “In normal times, this [the Russian hacking] would be the lead on all network news. But these are not normal times. I am having trouble getting through to some people that this is a real thing. The very people who always say “follow the money” with regard to the Pentagon [or other boondoggle bureaucracies] don’t see that (a) Trump has been kept afloat for about 15 years by Russian oligarchs; and (b) Russia has a powerful incentive to see a US president who will end economic sanctions.
To be sure, even if these allegations about Russia trying to boost Trump’s candidacy didn’t exist, Trump would still have a responsibility to honor campaign norms. Indeed, the Russian story isn’t the only controversy that Trump’s tax returns can help resolve.
But either way, the stakes have changed. Trump’s excuses in defense of secrecy have never made any sense, and the need for disclosure is now more acute.
And while Trump ignores the calls, the theories explaining his secrecy are becoming more ominous.