File image

Washington - US President Donald Trump's tax returns might be published after all, but not until after he leaves office, the president said in an interview published Thursday.

"Maybe I'll release them after I'm finished, because I'm very proud of them actually," Trump told the Economist.

Trump maintained in the interview that only journalists care about his tax returns, which first arose as an issue during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump, a multibillionaire real estate mogul, has consistently refused to release his tax returns, which would shed light on his personal wealth, charitable contributions and debts. He said he can't release them because they are being audited, a claim which he repeated in the interview with the Economist.

The magazine asked whether Trump would put releasing his tax returns on the table in negotiations with Congress about a tax reform bill he aims to push through.

Read also: Trump blasts release of 2005 tax form

Trump responded by saying it was an "interesting question," first answering "I doubt it," but then, later in the interview, saying he would "never consider it as part of a deal," according to a transcript posted at the Economist's website.

He said he believed that would be "unfair" and "disrespectful of the importance of this deal."

Opposition Democrats are demanding transparency in order to know the extent to which Trump might benefit from the tax plan he wants to push through.