Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday released a dozen years of his federal income-tax returns and challenged President Donald Trump to finally make his own returns public.
Inslee, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, used an early morning national TV appearance on “Fox and Friends,” which he called Trump’s “favorite show,” to make his announcement.
“I want to say it is time for him to come clean with the American people. He’s got to show what he has been hiding. And Americans deserve that truth,” Inslee said, before sparring with host Steve Doocy on his campaign’s chief message of fighting climate change.
His financial picture has remained consistent in recent years, with earnings based on his salary as governor since 2013 and a pension from serving more than a decade in Congress.
His 2018 return shows Inslee and his wife, Trudi, reported income of $202,912, mainly from his governor’s salary but also including a $44,000 congressional pension. The Inslees owed $29,906 in federal income taxes, and donated about $8,300 to charities.
The couple were beneficiaries of the Republican tax-cut law that Inslee and other Democrats have criticized for being weighted toward wealthier Americans. They earned about the same income last year as in 2017 but paid $2,791 less in taxes, their returns show.
Inslee joins other Democratic presidential candidates who have publicly revealed their tax returns, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has released a decade’s worth, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who released her 2018 return this week after previously releasing past returns, according to The Associated Press.
In his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump flouted a longstanding bipartisan tradition of candidates making public their tax returns. His business dealings and allegations of past tax fraud have spurred investigations and criticism.
Congressional Democrats, using their new majority power in the U.S. House, have been examining ways to force disclosure of Trump’s tax information by the Treasury Department, setting up a likely legal clash.
In addition to his own disclosure, Inslee has voiced support for legislation that would require presidential candidates to provide at least five years of tax returns in order to appear on the Washington state ballot.
On the “Fox and Friends” segment, Inslee also attacked Trump as “cowardly and pessimistic” for opposing sweeping measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists in his own administration have warned are pushing the planet toward catastrophic levels of warming.
Doocy, the Fox host, pushed back at Inslee and the “Green New Deal” proposed by Democrats, saying it would cost $100 trillion and require retrofits of buildings and elimination of the internal combustion engine. “You know, we just don’t have money for that,” Doocy said, quoting Trump.
Inslee argued that inaction on climate will prove far more expensive, citing recent flooding in Nebraska and devastating fires last year in California.
A skeptical Doocy asked, “Are you suggesting climate change is why there is flooding out in Nebraska right now?”
Inslee responded the “science is really abundantly clear on this” that climate change will cause more extensive flooding, drought and fires if left unchecked. “We need a president who believes in science and gravity,” he said.
Doocy also flashed polling on the screen showing Inslee trailing the Democratic field, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Warren, and even Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“How do you break through, because you are not in the top eight?” Doocy asked.
“Well, you go on ‘Fox and Friends’ — how’s that?” Inslee said, arguing he was just like other little-known governors, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who went on to be elected president.