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Paul Ryan: Donald Trump should release his tax returns

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at a news conference following a closed Republican party conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 11, 2016. 

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Donald Trump should release his tax returns, but he’ll let the GOP presidential nominee decide when it’s the appropriate time to do so.

During his weekly press conference, a reporter reminded the Wisconsin Republican he released his tax returns when he was the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee and was asked if Trump should do the same.

“I did release my returns,” Ryan said. “I’ll defer to Donald Trump as to when he thinks the appropriate time is to release his returns.”

Ryan acknowledged that Trump is under audit, and said Trump has an opinion about that. Trump has repeatedly said he can’t release his returns because he’s under audit by the IRS.

Asked again if it would be a good idea for Trump to disclose his returns to the public, Ryan said, “I released mine, I think he should release his. I’ll leave it to him when to do it.”

In an interview Wednesday with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Donald Trump Jr. was asked why his father hasn’t released his tax returns yet. Instead of repeating Trump’s argument that he’s under audit, his son suggested that people across the country would scrutinize them.

“When asked why his father has not released his tax returns as presidential candidates have traditionally done, Trump Jr. said, “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from [his father’s] main message.”

Ryan has endorsed Trump for president.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.