01:45 - Source: CNN
Trump manager: 'Are you calling him a liar?'

Story highlights

Kellyanne Conway is Donald Trump's campaign manager

She defended Trump's commitment to transparency

CNN —  

Donald Trump’s campaign manager bristled at questions over whether the Republican presidential nominee is using the specter of an IRS audit to avoid releasing his tax returns, hitting back forcefully when asked Tuesday for proof of the audit.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Kellyanne Conway on “New Day,” “Will Donald Trump release anything from the IRS proving that he’s under audit?”

“I’m sorry,” Conway said, as Camerota repeated her question. “Are you calling him a liar?”

Conway continued, “Seriously, we’re running against a Clinton, and we’re going to challenge someone’s veracity?”

The sharp exchange came as Conway pushed back against criticism of Trump for his ongoing refusal to release his tax returns, a disclosure made by every presidential candidate for over 40 years.

Conway repeated the campaign’s talking point – that Trump’s lawyers have advised him not to release his tax returns while an audit is being conducted, despite assurances from outside tax experts who have said no such conflict exists – and declined to say whether any more information would be forthcoming.

Later in the interview, when the issue of Donald Trump’s tax returns came up again – this time, when Camerota asked for proof of Trump’s charitable giving claims – Conway once again expressed frustration with the subject.

“Part of why people are calling for him to release his taxes is so we do know how much he himself has given to charity. Will you or the campaign release exactly what that number is?” Camerota asked.

“I doubt it,” Conway said.

“Why would you doubt it?” Camerota asked.

Conway argued back, “I doubt it. This is like badgering. I don’t see it as journalism, I see it as badgering. We’ve had this conversation so many different times on so many different networks, yet we’re not having a conversation about what the middle class tax relief would mean for people’s wage stagnation.”