On Wednesday, the White House trotted out what it saw as a cute letter from a 9-year-old supporter, Dylan, a.k.a. Pickle. But if you read closely, the letter revealed that there’s interest even among 9-year-old Trump superfans for the president’s tax returns.
Here is the letter:
The White House has released what they claim is the letter from Dylan: pic.twitter.com/Tte7wlUUpy— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) July 26, 2017
The key line here from Dylan: "How much monny do you have?"
So far, we don’t have a real answer to this question. There are different estimates of Trump’s wealth out there, but they’re just that — estimates.
We would have a clearer answer if Trump released his tax returns. But he never did throughout the 2016 campaign, and he hasn’t after. This broke a decades-long tradition; since the 1970s, most presidents have made their tax returns public.
Trump at first said he couldn’t release his tax returns because he was under IRS audit — which isn’t true; former President Richard Nixon released his tax returns while he was under audit. Since Trump launched his campaign, though, he and his surrogates have also offered all sorts of other excuses, from arguments that it’s none of our business to claims that the American people don’t really care about his tax returns.
This has led to a lot of speculation about what Trump could possibly be hiding in his tax returns. As Matthew Yglesias argued for Vox, "As a candidate, Trump took a calculated risk with his financial transparency. He could take the hit for secrecy, or he could take the hit for the truth. He decided that the truth would be worse, and while most voters didn’t vote for him, just enough did in just the right places to make him president. And he did, in fact, win."
Whatever the reason, the result is we don’t have Trump’s tax returns. So it’s much harder to discern how much "monny" he has.