Trump blasts ‘paid’ protesters

Rally seeks re­lease of pres­i­dent’s taxes.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY TAMMY WEBBER

CHICAGO | Pres­i­dent Trump says “some­one should look into who paid” for the ral­lies around the coun­try Satur­day that urged him to re­lease his tax re­turns.

Mr. Trump tweeted Sun­day: “I did what was an al­most an im­pos­si­ble thing to do for a Repub­li­can-eas­ily won the Elec­toral Col­lege! Now Tax Re­turns are brought up again?”

Mr. Trump was the first ma­jor-party nom­i­nee in more than 40 years not to re­lease his re­turns and he re­neged on a cam­paign com­mit­ment to re­lease them. He said he was be­ing au­dited.

“Some­one should look into who paid for the small or­ga­nized ral­lies yes­ter­day. The elec­tion is over,” he tweeted.

Thou­sands of sign-wav­ing, chant­ing protesters marched Satur­day through streets across Amer­ica, de­mand­ing that the pres­i­dent re­lease his tax re­turns so the pub­lic can ex­am­ine his busi­ness ties and de­ter­mine whether he has links to for­eign pow­ers.

The demon­stra­tions came on the date tax­pay­ers tra­di­tion­ally have to file their re­turns by and just days be­fore this year’s fil­ing dead­line Tues­day. The Tax Day protests in more than a dozen cities were largely peace­ful, though oc­ca­sion­ally demon­stra­tors and some proTrump groups taunted each other in face-to-face ex­changes.

In Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, po­lice ar­rested at least 20 peo­ple at un­re­lated gath­er­ings of about 200 pro- and anti-Trump peo­ple in a park af­ter fist fight­ing erupted. Of­fi­cers con­fis­cated knives and makeshift weapons.

Mr. Trump has said that vot­ers don’t care about his tax re­turns.

But many demon­stra­tors said they hoped Satur­day’s marches would con­vince Mr. Trump other­wise.

“We do care. We want to see his taxes,” said Ann De­merlis, who was among hun­dreds who marched in Philadel­phia from City Hall to an area in front of his­toric In­de­pen­dence Hall, car­ry­ing signs and chant­ing “We want your taxes now!”

Ilene Singh, 71, said he’s wrong. She rode a bus from New Jersey to New York City with her friend Geral­dine Markowitz, 83, to take part in the protests. “We’re here to say we care,” said Singh.

Push­ing her walker, Karin Ar­lin, 85, a Holo­caust sur­vivor who came to the U.S. from Ger­many when she was 9, said she’s also wor­ried about the di­rec­tion of the coun­try.

“You don’t know which way the coun­try goes,” said Ms. Ar­lin next to her 89-year-old hus­band who fled Cze­choslo­vakia dur­ing World War II. “I hope Repub­li­cans see it.”

Protesters in Raleigh, North Carolina, said they sus­pect that Mr. Trump’s re­turns might show he has paid lit­tle or noth­ing to the gov­ern­ment he now heads, or that he was in­debted to Rus­sian, Chi­nese or other for­eign in­ter­ests.

“His rep­u­ta­tion … as a busi­ness­man and, more im­por­tantly, as a true Amer­i­can, a per­son who is con­cerned with Amer­i­can val­ues, would be to­tally de­stroyed if all his fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion was made pub­lic,” said Mike Mannshardt, a re­tired teacher.

One of Mr. Trump’s sharpest crit­ics in the House spoke to protesters at the U.S. Capi­tol just be­fore they set off on a march to the Na­tional Mall in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Demo­cratic Cal­i­for­nia Rep. Max­ine Wa­ters said there’s noth­ing to pre­vent Mr. Trump from re­leas­ing his in­come taxes.

“If he thinks he can get away with play­ing king, he’s got an­other thought com­ing,” Ms. Wa­ters said.

Mr. Trump’s break with prece­dent has raised ques­tions about pos­si­ble con­flicts of in­ter­est.

Democrats are push­ing for a vote on a bill from Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Demo­crat from Cal­i­for­nia, which would re­quire the pres­i­dent and all ma­jor-party nom­i­nees to pub­licly dis­close their pre­vi­ous three years of tax re­turns with the Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Ethics or the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS

A gi­ant in­flat­able “Chicken Don” leads demon­stra­tors protest­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s fail­ure to re­lease his tax re­turns and a host of other is­sues dur­ing a march and rally in down­town Los An­ge­les on Satur­day. Mr. Trump is first ma­jor-party nom­i­nee in more than 40 years to not re­lease his tax re­turns.

Anti and pro-Trump sup­port­ers clash at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, on Satur­day. Un­like other protests across na­tion, fist fights erupted dur­ing these demon­stra­tions.

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