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    Trump wants to know ‘who paid for’ rallies seeking tax returns

    Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's failure to release his tax returns and a host of other issues during a march and rally in downtown Los Angeles Saturday, April 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
    Reed Saxon/Associated Press
    Demonstrators protested Trump's failure to release his tax returns and other issues in Los Angeles.

    CHICAGO — President Trump says ‘‘someone should look into who paid’’ for the rallies around the country Saturday that urged him to release his tax returns.

    Trump tweeted Sunday: ‘‘I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican — easily won the Electoral College! Now tax returns are brought up again?’’

    Trump was the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his returns and he reneged on a campaign pledge to release them. He said they were being audited.


    ‘‘Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over,’’ he tweeted.

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    Thousands of sign-waving, chanting protesters marched Saturday through streets across America, demanding that the president release his returns so the public can examine his business ties and determine whether he has links to foreign powers.

    The demonstrations came on the date taxpayers traditionally have to file their returns by and just days before this year’s filing deadline Tuesday.

    The tax day protests in more than a dozen cities were largely peaceful, though occasionally demonstrators and some pro-Trump groups taunted each other in face-to-face exchanges.

    In Berkeley, Calif., police arrested at least 20 people at unrelated gatherings of about 200 pro- and anti-Trump people in a park after fist fighting erupted. Officers confiscated knives and makeshift weapons.


    Trump has said that voters don’t care about his tax returns.

    But many demonstrators said they hoped Saturday’s marches would convince Trump otherwise.

    ‘‘We do care. We want to see his taxes,’’ said Ann Demerlis, who was among hundreds who marched in Philadelphia from City Hall to an area in front of Independence Hall, carrying signs and chanting ‘‘We want your taxes now!’’

    Protesters in Raleigh, N.C., said they suspect that Trump’s returns might show he has paid little or nothing to the government he now heads, or that he was indebted to Russian, Chinese, or other foreign interests.

    ‘‘His reputation . . . as a businessman and, more importantly, as a true American, a person who is concerned with American values, would be totally destroyed if all his financial information was made public,’’ said Mike Mannshardt, a retired teacher.


    One of Trump’s sharpest critics in the House spoke to protesters at the US Capitol just before they set off on a march to the National Mall in Washington. Democratic Representative Maxine Waters of California said there’s nothing to prevent Trump from releasing his income taxes.

    ‘‘If he thinks he can get away with playing king, he’s got another thought coming,’’ Waters said.

    Democrats are pushing for a vote on a bill from Representative Anna Eshoo, Democrat of California, which would require the president and all major-party nominees to publicly disclose their previous three years of tax returns with the Office of Government Ethics or the Federal Election Commission.

    Republicans also have rebuffed Democrats’ efforts to get the House Ways and Means Committee to act. It has legal authority to obtain confidential tax records, and could vote to make them public.

    In a separate development, the White House confirmed Sunday that the president will visit Wisconsin, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state, on Tuesday. He will see the Kenosha headquarters of Snap-on, a tool manufacturer.