Clinton taunts Trump while releasing her tax returns: “What is he trying to hide?”

Clinton released her 2015 returns and a new ad that uses Republicans to blast Trump for witholding his tax returns

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published August 12, 2016 6:32PM (EDT)

Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax return Friday, issuing a challenge to rival Donald Trump to do the same

“He has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years,” Clinton said in a statement issued by campaign spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri Friday. “What is he trying to hide?”

According to their joint return, the Clintons made $10.6 million in 2015, significantly less than the nearly $28 million they made the year before when the former secretary of state was still doing paid speaking engagements.

In 2015, the Clinton's paid $3.24 million in federal income taxes, amounting to effective tax rate as 34%, according to the Clinton campaign. The Democratic presidential candidate has proposed under her tax plan that anyone with adjusted gross income over $1 million would have to pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes. Taking into account their state and local taxes, the Clintons had a total effective tax rate of more than 43 percent in 2015. The Clinton's also donated an additional 10 percent of their income to charity.

Clinton's running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, and his wife also released their 2015 tax return Friday. Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, reported income of $313,441 for 2015 and paid a 25.6% rate, taking into account federal, state and local taxes

With the release of now 10 years of tax returns, Clinton brings attention to the nearly 40-year bipartisan tradition of presidential candidates publicly disclosing their returns -- and Trump's refusal to do so.

“Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine continue to set the standard for financial transparency as she releases her 2015 personal tax return and builds on the Clintons' tradition of making their returns public since 1977,” Palmier said in the statement.

“In stark contrast, Donald Trump is hiding behind fake excuses and backtracking on his previous promises to release his tax returns."

When pressured in the past, Trump has insisted that “there’s nothing to learn” from his returns, pointing to the fact that he has released a personal financial statement -- which is legally required.

In a new ad released Friday, Clinton amped up the pressure on Trump.

The ad shows a series of Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz , blasting the supposed billionaire businessman for hiding his tax returns from the public.

“Donald Trump should release his tax returns,” on-screen text reads at the beginning of the video. “Even Republicans think so.”

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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