Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOvernight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash It matters: Kamala Harris and the VP debate CDC director says it’s safe for Pence to take part in debate MORE (D-Calif.) raised the issue of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE‘s tax returns during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, in an effort to contrast Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Chance the Rapper, Demi Lovato to play digital concert to encourage voting MORE with Trump on the issue of transparency.
When moderator Susan Page asked Harris, Biden’s running mate, about whether voters have a right to know more detailed information about a presidential candidate’s health, Harris replied, “absolutely,” adding that the former vice president has been more transparent than Trump on health records and taxes.
Harris brought up a recent New York Times investigation that said Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. She also mentioned that the Times article reported that Trump has about $400 million in debt, saying it’s important for the public to know to whom Trump owes money.
“The American people have a right to know what is influencing the president’s decisions, and is he making those decisions in the best interest of the American people, of you, or self interest,” Harris said.
Trump’s most recent financial disclosure report names creditors including Deutsche Bank and Ladder Capital Finance. But Democrats have argued that Trump’s financial disclosures may not give the full picture, and have raised concerns that the president’s considerable debt could pose a national security risk.
She added that Biden is “honest” and “forthright” but that Trump “has been about covering up everything.”
Vice President Pence responded by saying Trump has paid “tens of millions of dollars in taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes.” He added that Trump has said the Times article isn’t accurate, and that Trump has released financial disclosure reports.
Trump in 2016 became the first major-party nominee in decades to not release his tax returns. He has said he won’t release them while under audit, but the IRS has said nothing prevents an individual from disclosing their own tax information.
Biden and Harris released their 2019 tax returns last week, hours before the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump.
Updated at 10:07 p.m.