http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/trump-tax-rate-223156#ixzz48Xs4O4it 05/13/16 07:41 AM EDT Updated 05/13/16 09:03 AM EDT Donald Trump is digging in his heels when it comes to his tax returns, stating on Friday that voters don’t have a right to see the documents before November and snapping back during an interview that his tax rate is “none of your business.” The presumptive Republican nominee has become increasingly combative about his tax returns, which he claims have been audited by the Internal Revenue Service each year since 2002. Trump and his allies have staked out a range of positions on the potential release of the apparently voluminous documents, but the real estate mogul has generally stuck by his contention that he’ll release them once the latest audit wraps up, hopefully before November. On Friday morning, Trump was on the defensive, ripping into ABC's George Stephanopoulos as the "Good Morning America" host pressed the billionaire on why he seems to be dragging his feet. Trump remarked that while every presidential candidate has released his tax returns since 1976, he would continue to wait until after the IRS audit is completed. Stephanopoulos asked whether voters had a right to see his tax returns before making their decision in November. "I don't think they do. But I do say this, I will really gladly give them -- not going to learn anything but it's under routine audit. When the audit ends I'm going to present them. That should be before the election. I hope it's before the election. But when the audit ends I've had even journalists say that, no, nobody should give until audits are over, I've had journalists say that," Trump said. When Stephanopoulos tried to get the billionaire candidate to reveal his tax rate, Trump bristled, saying it was "none of your business," adding that will be available when he releases the tax returns. The controversy over Trump’s reluctance to reveal his tax documents is shaping up to become a central issue in the forthcoming general election battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state – who has been dogged by her own transparency issues due to her exclusive use of a private email server during her time at Foggy Bottom – has seized on the tax issue as a way to portray Trump as a heartless tycoon. She toldan audience Wednesday in Blackwood, New Jersey, that his tax proposal is a plan "written by a billionaire for a billionaire” and laced into him for not releasing his own returns. "My husband and I have released 33 years of tax returns, we've got eight years on our website right now. So you have got to ask yourself, why does he not release them?" Clinton asked. The larger Democratic Party is also getting in on the game. The Democratic National Committee on Friday morning debuted a 99-secondvideo hitting Trump's "hypocritical evolution on tax returns." The video features footage of Trump dating back to 1999, when he told Chris Matthews that he "probably would not have a problem" with releasing his tax returns should he decide to run for president. Trump is heard remarking in 2012 that Mitt Romney "was hurt very badly" by his initial withholding of his tax returns, noting that "everybody has done it for many, many, many years." The video jumps to 2015, when Trump told Hugh Hewitt he would have "no objection" to releasing the documents if he ran for president. A 2015 interview with Stephanopoulos is shown, in which the former Clinton aide and current ABC News personality asked Trump his current tax rate. Trump responded at the time, "I'm not going to say it, but at some point I'll release it." In Friday’s interview with Stephanopoulos, Trump mocked Hillary Clinton, whom he referred to as "Mrs. Clinton" for asking for his tax returns, referring to "all the missing emails that she's got" and the paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, the transcripts of which she has refused to release. "Very, very great hypocrite but as far as I'm concerned I want to give it as soon as possible, as soon as the audit ends, I'll give it, I've been under audit. Every year they audit me-- I have wealthy friends that never get audited," Trump said. Stephanopoulos noted that the audit is not an excuse, reminding him that President Richard Nixon released his taxes while they were under an audit and that Trump himself released his tax returns when seeking casino licenses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Asked why Trump would do so then but not now, the presumptive Republican nominee answered, "Well, because at the time it didn't make any difference to me. Now it does." When Trump said that voters would learn very little about him compared to what is already available on his financial statements, Stephanopoulos asked whether he held any foreign sources of income, as in offshore or Swiss bank accounts. "I'll tell you right now, I do not. I don't have Swiss bank accounts," Trump said. "I don't have offshore -- I really have a very clean company and believe me, if I didn't, it would have been reported by 200 groups because there's nobody that has more reporting or more scrutiny than I have. I have given my financials, they're extraordinary. And we would have read if they weren't. But believe me when I released my financials, George and sent them down to federal elections, there was a feeding frenzy by the media and they reported, wow, that is a great company and I have built a great, great company and by the way, when you look at numbers, when you look at incomes, when you look at all of the things or most of the things you talked about, that's reported on the financials." The financial statements do not show tax rate, Stephanopoulos said. "I try to pay as little tax as possible and I've said that for the last two years, I fight very hard because this country wastes our money," Trump said. "They take our tax money and throw it down the drain. They spend $4 trillion in the Middle East and we can't fix a road or a bridge and I fight very hard. I consider it an expense because, frankly, our country doesn't know what they're doing with our money or tax money and that's part of the problem so I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible." Stephanopoulos reminded Trump of a 2011 interview in which the businessman—then flirting with a presidential run—said he would release his tax returns if President Barack Obama released his birth certificate, and subsequently when Clinton released her emails from the State Department. "She has turned over all of the emails in her possession," Stephanopoulos claimed, an assertion to which Trump objected, saying, "there are emails missing all over the place. The whole thing is a scam." Trump then tried to turn the tables on Stephanopoulos, who worked for Bill Clinton’s campaign and his White House. "I know she's a good friend of yours and I know you worked for him," Trump said.