A day after thousands marched in cities across the US to demand the president release his tax returns, Donald Trump used Twitter to say “someone should look into who paid” for the rallies.
Trump wrote: “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?
“Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday.”
The Tax March rallies were organised through social media by a professor at Vermont Law School, Jennifer Taub, and comedian Frank Lesser. Taub’s husband, the artist Michael Kuch, designed a poster.
Trump, who beat Hillary Clinton in the electoral college despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3m ballots, was the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, reneging on a campaign commitment to release them.
The release of tax returns by presidential candidates is not mandatory. Trump repeatedly said his returns were being audited, precluding their release. Audits do not prevent the release of tax returns.
In January, senior aide Kellyanne Conway said the president would not be releasing his tax records, because “people didn’t care”. Portions of Trump tax returns have been obtained by the New York Times and MSNBC.
On Saturday, in marches held in Washington DC, Los Angeles and in cities worldwide, thousands demanded a chance to examine Trump’s business ties and determine whether he has links to foreign powers.
Such concerns have been piqued in recent days after Prospect magazine published an interview with Sir Richard Dearlove.
The former chief of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency said: “What lingers for Trump may be what deals – on what terms – he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”
The FBI and both houses of Congress are investigating ties between Trump aides and Russia.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said: “The American people need to understand what kind of involvement Trump’s business dealings have abroad and what kind of leverage those dealings may have on his policies as president of the United States.”
Saturday’s tax demonstrations were timed to take place days before Tuesday’s deadline for taxpayers to file their returns.
A separate pair of protests in Berkeley, California, saw pro-Trump groups and self-described “anti-fascists” clash. Police arrested 13 people.