- Kinzinger's comments fall on National Tax Day
- He said the White House should release the returns to keep with tradition
- 74% of Americans want Trump to release his tax returns
When asked about Trump's taxes on CNN's "Wolf," the House Republican said releasing the returns was "the right thing to do."
"I think it would be in the President's benefit to release them, and I think as the American people, we want to see that," Kinzinger said.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns, breaking with decades of precedent by arguing he would not release them while those returns are under audit, though there is nothing legally preventing him from doing so. Kinzinger said the Trump administration should keep with White House tradition.
Many Democrats have called on Trump to make his returns public, but Kinzinger is one of only a few Republican voices
to join their call.
"We have a tradition in this country of seeing what the interests -- the business interests, the financial interests -- of the person leading the free world (are)," Kinzinger said. "And I think this has been a distraction to him."
Kinzinger also said that the vast majority of Americans want to see Trump's tax returns released, even though it's not a top priority for them, which recent polls confirm. Trump has said that Americans "don't care at all" about his tax returns, but polls -- including an ABC News/Washington Post story from January
-- show that 74%
of Americans say he should release them.
Kinzinger's comments came after press secretary Sean Spicer dealt another blow to transparency advocates Monday, announcing that Trump's 2016 tax returns are under audit and therefore would not
be released. Pressed on whether Trump was prepared to rule out ever releasing his tax returns, Spicer demurred: "I'll have to get back to you on that."
Kinzinger's remarks about Trump's 2016 tax returns fall on Tuesday's federal tax filing deadline and come after a weekend of protests
in cities across the country where protesters demanded Trump release his tax returns. As the President looks to fulfill his campaign promise on tax cuts, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Trump's refusal to release his tax returns will make it harder for Congress to pass a tax reform deal, which is a top GOP priority.