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MO-Sen: Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley release tax returns as campaigns trade jabs over disclosure

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and her challenger Josh Hawley released their tax returns on Wednesday with both sides taking the opportunity to criticize the other. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and her challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, released their 2017 tax returns Wednesday. But Hawley promptly accused the incumbent of leaving something out, causing the two campaigns to trade barbs.

What happened?

Hawley called on McCaskill to release her husband's returns in addition to her own, saying voters deserve answers about how much her family has profited from government. McCaskill has come under fire over reports that her husband, businessman Joseph Shepard, has raked in $131 million in federal subsidies during her tenure in the Senate.

"There's been a lot of dark money that has been poured into this state by Chuck Schumer and others and my question is, why is a United States senator running her family's finances like a dark money operation?" Hawley quipped to reporters. "It's a very troubling pattern."

The media then asked the attorney general why McCaskill should release the returns of her spouse, when President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to disclose his own. Trump has endorsed Hawley.

Hawley dodged the question, saying of Trump, "He ran, he won, the people of this state voted for him by 20 points, now Sen. McCaskill is running and there are serious questions about how she has profited from her seat in the U.S. Senate, how she's gotten to be one of the richest members of the Senate.

"So what anybody else has done is immaterial," Hawley said. "The last I looked the president wasn't running in this Senate race."

In a written statement, McCaskill campaign press secretary Eric Mee responded, "Only the most hypocritical politician would refuse to criticize the President for not releasing his tax returns and then complain about Claire's husband."

"Claire has filed separately from her husband since they met and will not be releasing his return," Mee continued. "Her family's finances are fully and properly disclosed on her 61-page personal financial disclosure."

So what do the returns show?

McCaskill provided her full return, showing she received roughly $85,500 in pension income in addition to her $174,000 Senate salary. McCaskill's deductions included about $78,000 in charitable giving.

Hawley disclosed the joint return he filed with his wife, Erin, which shows a combined adjusted gross income of $295,925, and about $10,300 in charitable giving.

Hawley is seeking to unseat McCaskill in November, in a race that's deemed too close to call.

One last thing…
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