Arkansas Congressman Tom Cotton & French Hill Defend Trump Not Releasing Tax Returns

Apr 18, 2017

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and U.S. Representative French Hill (left to right).
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

With the tax filing deadline looming, Donald Trump’s returns took the spotlight early on Monday's town hall meeting with U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and U.S. Representative French Hill. The two Republicans were met with plenty of unsatisfied constituents among the 1000 or so in attendance.

"As far as I’m aware the President says he’s still under audit and he’s going to release them when he’s done," said Cotton in response to a question. Cotton's response drew some of the loudest jeers of the day.

Arkansas’s junior Senator was not in the friendliest of territory. The town hall at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock was his first in the state’s most populous county, Pulaski. It’s one of the few places he didn’t carry in 2014 and one of the only parts of the state former Arkansas First Lady Hillary Clinton won in the Presidential election.

Sen. Cotton said a variety of financial disclosure forms already have to be submitted and quipped, ”It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find out where Donald Trump has connections overseas. He normally puts his names on buildings when he has them.” 

That line drew some boos but also a hearty amount of applause. There were a fair number of Republican supporters there, wearing Make America Great Again hats and cheering his defense of the Trump administration.

Rep. French Hill added, "The federal law requires financial disclosure of all financial officials and it is very detailed. Every position, every Limited Liability Company and it certainly leaves a concrete, written footprint as to the incumbent's full business activities."

The town hall was the first for Hill during the Trump administration. Many Congressman throughout the nation held town halls in the weeks surrounding a failed bid to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Hill backed Speaker Paul Ryan's plan. He did not hold any town hall meetings during that time.

Listen to the full exchange on President Trump's tax returns.