Sen. Udall Grills Pompeo: Shouldn’t Trump Release Tax Returns to Satisfy Concerns About His Russia Ties?
On Wednesday, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) quizzed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on President Donald Trump‘s business interminglings with Russia and possible compromising relationship with a foreign nation.
The Senator then suggested during the Capitol Hill hearing that Trump could clear things up, if only he would release his taxes.
“As we saw in Helsinki and throughout his presidency and the campaign, this president is extremely sympathetic to the Russian government that attacked and continues to attack our democracy and those of our allies,” Udall said during the hearing. “It’s a fact of political life that many Americans are concerned about the unthinkable that a U.S. President could have compromised — a compromising relationship with a foreign power.”
He added: “The president could clear this up in three simple ways. Releasing the tax returns and those of the Trump organizations and the taxes from the various family businesses, some of which we don’t know about. After Helsinki, do you think that the American people deserve to know what is in President Trump’s tax returns and business interests that are intertwined with Russia?”
Pompeo replied by declining to answer the question in the name of staying out of the “political circus.”
“I’m going to try to stay out of the same political circus that you and I ended in last time I was sitting here,” he said, before noting Trump was engaged in a “massive defense build-up that actually threatened Putin.
“You haven’t answered my question,” Udall snapped back. “Wouldn’t you want that out in the open and to understand what went on? It’s Helsinki. It’s an easy, yes or no question.”
Pompeo continued to talk about defense build up.
“Candidate Trump has failed to keep his promise to disclose his tax returns. Every presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has disclosed. Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm to avoid a conflict of interest. The interest with President Trump’s potential foreign policy conflicts of interest is unprecedented and unacceptable,” Udall said, before asking, “Are you 100% confident that you know everything that President Trump discussed with President Putin? That’s a very easy yes or no. If you don’t want to answer it, I’ll move on. Yes or no.”
Pompeo said he was “very confident” he received a comprehensive debriefing.
Udall then asked if he did receive a full briefing — as he just said — if he knew if Trump and Putin talked about Trump projects during their one-on-one.
Pompeo once again said he wasn’t going to get into the political circus.
“I came here to talk about American foreign policy,” the Secretary of State said, yet again declining to answer the tax return question directly.
Watch above, via Fox News
[image via screengrab]
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