Were I asking questions at Monday night’s presidential debate, here are some I would pose to Donald Trump, whom I have reported on for the last 28 years:
1. You have talked publicly about running for President for three decades, so presumably you have studied the official job description for President. Please tell us precisely where that job description can be found and what it says about the duties, powers and limitations of the job.
2. You have said that, if you become President, you will stop Ford, Nabisco and other companies from building factories in Mexico. What gives a President the power to tell private businesses where to build — and how would you have reacted if President Obama had told you not to put your name on hotels and golf courses, as you have, in the Middle East?
3. Since you won’t reveal your taxes, will you provide copies of the form letters saying you are being audited and a summary for each year since, say, 1978, with your adjusted gross income, gifts to charity and federal income tax paid? And if not, why not?
4. By your own account, any audits of your tax returns through 2008 are closed, so will you release your 1977-2008 tax returns? If not, why not?
5. On your presidential disclosure form, you value your Westminster Golf Club at more than $50 million; you told property tax authorities it was worth only $1.3 million. You claim your Palos Verdes, Calif., golf club is worth more than a quarter-billion dollars. For tax purposes, you claim it’s only worth $10 million. How do you justify this?