Grover Norquist On Trump, NeverTrumpers And Meeting George Soros

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Grover Norquist thinks it was the IRS that leaked Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return to The New York Times.

Norquist made the allegation on “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast, where the influential head of Americans for Tax Reform also discussed his view of Donald Trump, what he thinks of the #NeverTrump movement, the time he met George Soros and how he would advise an aspiring master of the conservative political universe.


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Show Map:

  • Grover gives his view on the release of Trump’s tax records (5:46)
  • Grover’s personal interactions with Trump (12:31)
  • How Trump won the GOP primary  (16:24)
  • How can Grover support a guy who differs so much on the issues? (24:26)
  • Grover dishes on his foreign policy views (39:37)
  • Grover dismisses #NeverTrump (47:07)
  • Grover meets George Soros (53:23)
  • Answering Twitter questions (1:00:37)
  • How to become a right-wing master of the political universe (1:03:07)
  • Grover on his influences (1:09:41)

“If there was anything in the taxes, tax returns, that could be used to attack Donald Trump, they were going to come out,” Norquist said. “So I think Donald Trump overestimated the integrity and honest-ness of the IRS.”

Pressed if that means he thinks the IRS itself is responsible for the leak, Norquist replied: “Oh sure, sure.”

“They’ve been leaking other stuff against other conservatives for quite some time now,” he added.

Norquist didn’t provide any hard evidence for his allegation that the IRS is responsible for leaking Trump’s tax return. The New York Times has so far refused to say where it got the return, which shows that Trump took a nearly $1 billion loss in 1995, from.

Though he thinks Trump has no “moral” obligation to release his tax returns, Norquist believes he should have done so long ago for political reasons.

“[R]ecognizing that if there was anything that could even be portrayed as odd, he should have dropped them a year ago,” Norquist argued.

“In a perfect world, it’s nobody else’s business,” he went on. “But when you are running with the establishment press dead set against you and the culture against you and an entire government against you, the idea you can stand up on all those principles strikes me as unlikely.”

Unlike Trump, Norquist is a strong believer in free trade, immigration and entitlement reform. Even so, Norquist is supporting the Republican nominee, though he often sounds like he is doing so with the hope that a Republican Congress would constrain some of Trump’s more natural political inclinations.

“Almost 100 percent of the Republicans in the House and the Senate are Reagan Republicans. If Trump comes into D.C. he will be the only one who isn’t explicitly a Reagan Republican,” Norquist explained. “He has certainly said things that differ from Reagan’s agenda, but the House and the Senate have majorities of Republicans who are Reagan Republicans, who are committed to lower taxes, limited government.”

In the interview, Norquist also took a shot at the #NeverTrump movement, suggesting that Republicans who are refusing to get behind Trump are not mainly doing so out of principle, but because they are not in line for a job in a Trump administration.

“The challenge is they don’t show up in the polls and there are people who think they would never get a job in the Trump administration so they are not for Trump,” he said of NeverTrumpers.

In the podcast, Norquist also discussed the time in 2004 he invited George Soros to his famous “Wednesday Meeting” of conservative activists.

“He’s perfectly pleasant and on some issues, some of the efforts he’s tried in Eastern Europe have been helpful in trying to stave off some of the uglier aspects of nationalism and statism,” Norquist said of a man who is a bogeyman among conservatives. “And I agree with him on certain issues. But he was so blinded then by his unhappiness with Bush and the [Iraq] war.”

Listen to past episodes of “The Jamie Weinstein Show” and subscribe to it in iTunes:

Matt Lewis On How He Went From Flipping Burgers To CNN

Roger Stone On What Donald Trump Learned From Roy Cohn And Trump’s Nuclear Option Against Hillary

Former Israeli Amb. Michael Oren On Trump, Clinton, American Leadership And His Future Ambitions

Karl Rove On The State Of The Race, Getting Under Hillary’s Skin And What Happens To The GOP After Trump

Alan Dershowitz On 2016, Knowing Trump And Hillary, And Going From Academic Failure To Legal All Star 

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