Billionaire Warren Buffett challenged Donald Trump to release his tax returns and allow people to ask questions about the items on it during a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday.
In his remarks, Buffett emphasized that every presidential candidate over the past 40 years showed their tax returns to the public. He noted that Trump gave different explanations for not releasing his tax returns such as the fact that he submitted his financial statement to the election commissioner, list of his assets and liabilities.
“Believe me, someone who has fill out financial statements and someone who has fill out an income tax return, I can tell you they are two different animals. You will learn a whole lot more about Donald Trump if he releases his income tax return. That’s why, I like to make him an offer, an offer he can’t refuse,” said Buffett.
He also noted that Trump repeatedly explained that he can’t release his tax returns because he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Buffett tells Trump “I’m under audit too”
Buffett said, “Now I’ve got news for him, I’m under audit too and I would be delighted to meet him anyplace, anytime, between now and the election. I’ll bring my tax return; he can bring his tax return. Nobody is going to arrest us. There are no rules against showing tax returns. And just let people ask us questions about the items that are on there.”
Furthermore, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE.BRK.B) emphasized, “You’re only afraid if you got something to be afraid about. He is not afraid of the IRS. He is afraid because of you.”
Buffett repeated, “He can pick the place between now and election, I will bring my return, his bring his return. We’re both under audit. Believe me nobody will stop us from talking about what’s on those returns. Send the word to him, if you will.”
It takes some kind of nerve to say “I alone can fix it”
Buffett disagrees with Trump’s claim that the United States of America is not great anymore and the country needs him. “I disagree with him,” said Buffet and noted how Trump would address his perception about America by quoting his statement, “No one knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
Buffett laughed and said, “Only he can fix it. I didn’t really realize we’re in such grave danger. There are 325 million Americans, and if this guy leaves for Canada, it’s supposed to be hopeless for the rest of us. He alone can fix it. It takes some kind of nerve or something else to really have the notion that out of 325 million people, you’re the only one can fix it.
The legendary investor said if someone makes a statement like that, you should check his record. According to him, Trump has been in a lot of businesses and had a lot of bankruptcies, but usually involved borrowing a lot of money from the American public.
Buffett noted that in 1995, Trump encouraged the American people to invest in his company, Trump Hotels and Casino Resort and listed it on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker DJT.
“The next ten years, the company loses money, every single year. He takes out $44 million in compensation during that period. In 1995, when he offered his company, if a monkey had thrown a dart at the stock page, the monkey on average would have made 150%. But the people who believed in him…came away losing over 90 cents on the dollar. They got back less than a dime.”
He added, “You know the history…he went to bankruptcy. I’ve never known another businessman that brags about his bankruptcies. To tell you the truth, why not, it’s his claim to stardom.”