Biden releases 2019 tax returns before debate, calls for Trump to release his

Top Trump campaign advisers preview first presidential debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign on Tuesday released 2019 tax returns for Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, calling on President Trump to release his own, hours before Biden and Trump are set to face off in the first presidential debate.

It marked the latest jab in a heated battle between the two campaigns. Hours earlier, the Trump campaign called for a new ground rule establishing a third-party monitor to check for earpieces during the debate, a request the Biden team denied.

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield announced on a conference call with reporters that the "Biden's are releasing their 2019 tax returns, making 22 years of records available to the American public. Sen. Harris and Mr. Emhoff are releasing theirs as well. For Sen. Harris this is now 15 years of returns that are available to the American public."

Bedingfield stressed that "this is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people, faith, once again that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line."

Trump — first as a presidential candidate in 2016 and currently as president — broke a four-decades-old precedent of president and White House hopefuls releasing their tax returns. And he's fought efforts by congressional Democrats to release his returns.

Trump's argued that he can't release his returns because his taxes have been under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

The former vice president has long called on Trump to release his returns. Biden, speaking with reporters in Ohio following a primary debate last October, said: "Mr. President, release your tax returns or shut up. October 2019, speaking with reporters after a debate in Ohio.

The move by the Biden campaign comes two days after Sunday’s report from The New York Times that says the president didn’t pay federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.

The president has labeled the report “fake news.”

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