PITTSFIELD – Eighty-four days after President Trump was sworn into office, a number of Americans still want answers about his tax returns.
Berkshire County residents gathered in Park Square April 15 to demand the president make his tax returns available to the public.
After winning the Republican bid for president last year, Trump became the first major party nominee to not disclose personal tax information, and has since become the first president since the 1970s to decline releasing a full or partial return.
Frank Farkas, interim chair for Berkshire Democrats Brigade, called the Trump administration “hardly transparent.”
This week, senior White House officials announced visitor logs to the White House complex will no longer remain public, reversing an Obama policy that was originated in 2009 with some limitations. Officials cited national security concerns in the decision.
“If you have nothing to hide, Donald, and are not afraid of coming clean, show us your taxes at a time when everyone else is paying theirs,” Farkas said to the nearly 100 listeners in Park Square.
“You said you wanted to clean up the swamp in Washington,” he added. “You’ve made the muck deeper than ever.”
In January, White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway said the president has no plans to release his tax returns.
City resident John Dickinson said he believes it’s important to know who finances the president.
A day after the nationwide “Tax March,” President Trump tweeted, “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
Otis resident Dr. Mary Jean Guidette said she thinks the administration thus far has been “unconscionable.”
“All we seem to get is lies,” Guidette said. “I never thought this would’ve happened in my lifetime.” She said she still had hope for the future.
Nick Monka, of Pittsfield, said he’s tired of business as usual, and called Trump a “symptom.”
“He’s getting away with smaller violations his whole life, and how he thinks he can do it on a larger scale and he’s wrong,” Monka said.
Tax March protests in Berkeley, California erupted between Trump supporters and opposers – by 7:35 p.m. 20 arrests were made, Berkeley police said in a statement. Violations include assault with a deadly weapon and several other felony assaults. Police also said 11 people were injured at treated by the Berkeley Fire Department.
In a January interview with ABC program “This Week,” Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, urged President Trump to follow the presidents who preceded him. “Tax returns have always been a tradition that should be observed,” he said.
This article first appeared in The Berkshire Courier.