Collins explains "Who cares" CNN comment


ANGOLA, N.Y. – A few days ago, Western New York Congressman Chris Collins said on CNN that people "don't care" about Donald Trump's tax returns.

That's in response to questions about Trump's refusal to release those returns.

Collins has defended Trump since day-one, when he became the first member of the House to endorse the Republican nominee, and his recent comments received a lot of attention.

“The public at this point doesn't care any more about Donald Trump's taxes than they care about Bill Clinton's affairs,” Collins said in a Q and A with anchor Brianna Keilar.

But polls show otherwise. The CNN poll Keilar referenced in retort shows that 79 percent of Trump-backers agree paying taxes is a civic duty; and out of all registered voters, 73 percent feel Trump should release his tax returns.

“They may want to be nosy and go through the tax returns, I'm sure they might. You know, you may want to see or know your neighbor's tax returns, too,” Collins said to 2 On Your Side’s Erica Brecher Wednesday at his visit to an Angola factory. “But that's not going to drive a vote. People are not going to vote for Donald Trump on the tax issue. They’re going to vote because he is the change agent that's going to bring our jobs back, secure our borders, get rid of the criminal element of our immigration system and stand up to ISIS and Vladimir Putin.”

On CNN, Keilar suggested an assistant manager at a grocery store as an example of someone who might not like Trump's way of doing things.

"Would you say to them that it's right that they have paid more in taxes than Donald Trump?” she asked.

“Well I think there's a good chance that an assistant manager at a supermarket isn’t paying federal taxes,” Collins said.

Wednesday, Collins elaborated on why he said that.

“There is an income level at which most American's don't pay federal taxes, and that's a $50,000 job. So the way she described that position, knowing what I know about Western New York, I presume that was not a $50,000 job. Hence, that person would not be factually paying federal income taxes, if he's married with a couple of kids."

Mainly, Collins said what he meant when he said “who cares” at least three times on the show is that he doesn’t feel tax returns are a priority to voters.

“Let me rank 100 things you care about,” he said. “Tax returns are number 100. That's the point I'm making.”


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