From the September 15 edition of CNN's At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan:
KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): Donald Trump Jr. told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Trump can't release his taxes and here is his quote. “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.”
Really? That's the excuse now?
JEFFREY LORD: Really. I have to tell you, good for Don Trump Jr.
BOLDUAN: Why good?
LORD: I have been saying that this whole “let's release taxes thing,” -- not just with Donald Trump -- but I think this has just become a political gimmick, a gotcha.
JOHN BERMAN (HOST): Jeffrey, are you on the record prior to your supprt for Donald Trump anytime in the previous 30 years saying the candidates shouldn't release their tax returns?
LORD: Yeah, in truth, I was never asked. But look, we've had 36 presidents of the United States --
BERMAN: And every single one of them since Richard Nixon has released their tax returns. Jeffrey, hang on, hang on. And so Donald Trump, up until this interview with his son, his excuse was he was being audited. Now his excuse isn't “I'm being audited,” it's that “well if I release them it's going to detract from my message.” In other words there's a problem here that people will see and they'll be talking about that rather than what I'm saying.
LORD: No, no. They will make a problem out of something. Something that could be perfectly ordinary and average, and they will make a problem out of it. This is what politicians do.
BOLDUAN: Are they the ones to be the judge for it still?
LORD: And I guarantee you my friend Paul over here would have a commercial up in point two seconds that “Donald Trump got some tax break in 1963 when he was in high school.” And that commercial would be running. That's the way this works and I'm saying just head it off at the pass.
BOLDUAN: Wait, so Jeffrey, they're afraid to release it, and that's why they're not releasing it? That's what you're saying?
LORD: No, what I'm saying is that political opponents are going to go through there and look to make issues out of things.
BERMAN: It is detrimental politically.
BERMAN: You're saying, politically speaking, there is harmful things in here to Donald Trump.
LORD: I have no idea what's in there.
BERMAN: Well that's what you just said. You said it would detract from his message.
LORD: Well, what I'm saying is that no matter what's in there, they will make an issue out of it.
BERMAN: And no matter what's in there it will hurt Donald Trump?
LORD: Sure, sure, because they will try and make it hurt Donald Trump.