White House spokesman Josh Earnest advised Monday that all Americans should pay their taxes, after being asked whether it makes sense for President Barack Obama to take advice from Al Sharpton, who reportedly owes $4.5 million in personal taxes and unpaid taxes from his companies.
Sharpton routinely canoodles with Obama and is seen as something of an informal adviser. But a New York Times story reported last week that Sharpton still owes millions, and has a history of not paying taxes and stiffing hotels and other companies on money he owes those service providers.
When asked, Earnest said he hasn't read those stories. He also said there are "important and justified restrictions" that are meant to avoid political interference in tax cases, a comment indicating that the White House is not looking into the allegations against Sharpton, and won't interfere with whatever enforcement proceedings are taking place.
"I'm confident that this administration is allowing whatever enforcement procedures are underway to be carried out," he said.
When asked more pointedly if advisors to Obama should pay their taxes, Earnest agreed.
"I think every American should pay his or her taxes," he said.