A recently resurfaced video shows an unexpected voice joining what, since 2016, has been a mounting chorus calling for President Donald Trump's tax returns.
This call came from Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, a vocal Trump ally in the House of Representatives who recently made headlines for threatening Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen ahead of Cohen's explosive testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
In the 2017 video, which was revived on Monday by Democratic Coalition co-founder Scott Dworkin, Gaetz says to a dissatisfied constituent at a town hall:
"Let me say right here, right now: Absolutely Donald Trump should release his tax returns."
"Let me say right here, right now. Absolutely Donald Trump should release his tax returns." GOP Rep Matt Gaetz https://t.co/WcQKygIwIu— Scott Dworkin (@Scott Dworkin)1551728283.0
Donald Trump is the first President since the 1970's to forego releasing his tax returns. During his candidacy, he asserted that he was under audit. Toward the end of the election, he told the public he'd release them if he won. When he won, he still refused.
It appears that Donald Trump is protecting some sort of secret concealed within the returns, but though voices demanding them grew even louder after the Cohen testimony, a video of Trump's devoted Congressman Matt Gaetz calling for the President to voluntarily release his tax returns still confused many.
wait what https://t.co/oIcumnGOig— George Conway (@George Conway)1551758529.0
@gtconway3d (checks timestamp) Okay, not pre-2017 out of context. (checks video) Yeah, that's what he said. Wha… https://t.co/7lqq3u4r45— #CyberWTaf?!?!!!1!! (@#CyberWTaf?!?!!!1!!)1551761438.0
@gtconway3d Did he get hit in the head?— Debbie Resists 🍑 (@Debbie Resists 🍑)1551784614.0
@funder @joncoopertweets https://t.co/4mVMHVXmTH— Deb (@Deb)1551728747.0
But many had theories.
@funder I'm assuming this is an alien imposter. That's the only explanation that makes sense.— Cyn (@Cyn)1551728872.0
@funder From February 2017, right? I guess two years and a great deal of evidence that those returns may be incredi… https://t.co/Y46pBWnyKa— Rogue Phoenix 🆘 ⚖ 🏳️🌈🌊 (@Rogue Phoenix 🆘 ⚖ 🏳️🌈🌊)1551728655.0
@gtconway3d Who administered the pentathol?— John Wisniewski (@John Wisniewski)1551758630.0
@gtconway3d Two more drinks and he’ll tell us what actually happened to his college roommate.— #StopTrump Sign (@#StopTrump Sign)1551762499.0
But for many, the two-year-old video does nothing to redeem Gaetz for one thing.
People are still livid that Gaetz disgracefully tried to influence Cohen's testimony.
@gtconway3d Trying to change the news cycle that says he intimidates witnesses on Twitter— Sara Sanchez (@Sara Sanchez)1551760138.0
@funder Don't fall for the okey doke with Matt Gaetz! My eyes are wide open on this GOP stalker! Too late now to ch… https://t.co/htrWtTqpbs— Deetimes (@Deetimes)1551729265.0
@funder And, @mattgaetz that’s still not an apology or an adequate distraction. You intended to threaten Cohen from testifying.— Becky Palmer (@Becky Palmer)1551739497.0
Gaetz is currently under investigation by the Florida Bar for his threats to Michael Cohen—something Twitter was quick to remind him about.
@philmore1968 @funder @joncoopertweets Actually @TheFlaBar does have a twitter account. But I don't think this will… https://t.co/15jGRNkSz9— M A Gaylor 🍑 🆘 (@M A Gaylor 🍑 🆘)1551730009.0
@gtconway3d I feel like the Florida Bar has a liiiiitle bit of influence with him now. 😂— Cara Tramontano (@Cara Tramontano)1551759018.0
@funder Omg... either hes drunk or running scared from the Bar !!— Crazy Candy Girl (@Crazy Candy Girl)1551789992.0
Gaetz has remained steadfast in his loyalty to the President, and has asserted that Congress shouldn't be able to subpoena his tax returns if Trump won't submit them voluntarily.