One of US President Donald Trump's top aides has said that opposition Democrats will never see his tax returns. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the call for the records to be released was a political stunt.
On Wednesday a Congressional tax committee submitted a request for six years of the president's returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unlike previous presidents, Mr Trump has refused to publish his tax details.
During an interview on Fox News, Mr Mulvaney was asked if Congress would ever see the president's tax returns. No, never, he replied. Nor should they.
He added: Democrats are demanding that the IRS turn over the documents. That is not going to happen, and they know it. This is a political stunt.
In response, Democrats said that the request by tax committee chairman Richard Neal was both legal and necessary.
Dan Kildee, a Democrat and a tax committee member, told ABC: This is a legitimate authority that the Congress has. This president, by the way, is the least transparent president we've had in half a century.
Every US presidential candidate since 1976 has released their tax returns, but there is no law requiring it.
The Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives in mid-term elections last year, giving them the ability to launch investigations into Mr Trump's administration and business affairs.
It comes after one of Mr Trump's lawyers said it was harassment to keep asking for his tax returns, and hinted at possible legal action in the future.
His request is a transparent effort by one political party to harass an official from the other party because they dislike his politics and speech, attorney William Consovoy said of Mr Neal.
He said the request was a misguided attempt to politicize tax laws and could also end up interfering with audits. He said the US Treasury should not comply with the demand. Mr Trump added that he believed the law was 100% on my side.