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HOUSTON, Texas (CBSMiami) — There’s blood in GOP waters and the sharks are circling.

After the Teflon Don has seemingly been able to avoid heavy attacks during the campaign for president, Donald Trump’s rivals pressed him on his refusal to release his tax returns at Thursday night’s Republican debate at the University of Houston — and it may have hit a nerve.

“As far as my return, I want to file it. Except, for many years, I’ve been audited every year. 12 years or something like that. Every year, they audit me, audit me, audit me,” Trump explained. “I have friends that are very wealthy people, they never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now, for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished. Obviously.”

As “obvious” as it may be, there is no law preventing Trump from releasing his returns due to an ongoing audit. And because the IRS does not disclose information on audits of citizens, there’s no way to confirm whether or not Trump is actually being audited.

Before the debate, former party nominee Mitt Romney suggested that Trump may have something to hide.

Romney Tweeted out other suggestions, as well.

“The only reason he’s not releasing them is he’s afraid that he’ll get hit,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump’s returns could also clear up some of his more boastful claims of philanthropy. His campaign has previously said he’s given away more than $100 million, though, they have never provided a list of where those donations have gone. The recipients have apparently been shy, as well.

Regardless, Trump doesn’t think a transparent tax return is even relevant.

“You don’t learn anything about somebody’s wealth with a tax return. You learn it from statements. I filed, which shows that I’m worth over $10 billion,” Trump trumpeted.


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