LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman offers $5 million for Donald Trump’s tax returns

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, is pledging to put up $5 million in connection with pushing Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Hoffman wrote in a Medium post Monday that he’s jumping on to a Marine Corps veteran’s crowdfunding effort, which seeks to raise money for veterans organizations if the Republican presidential nominee releases his tax returns by Oct. 19, the date of the final presidential debate.

“Trump claims to love veterans, and so we’re asking him to put his money where his mouth is,” Peter Kiernan’s campaign on Crowdpac says. The page tells donors they won’t be charged unless Trump releases his tax returns, and that the money will go to 10 veterans organizations.

Hoffman, who’s also a partner at venture firm Greylock Partners, said in his post that he was inspired by Trump’s offer in 2012 to donate $5 million to charity if President Obama would release “his college records and applications” and “passport applications and records.”

“Taking Trump’s own 2012 offer to President Obama into account, I’d like to assist Kiernan in his campaign,” Hoffman wrote. “If Kiernan’s campaign hits or exceeds its target, I will match the total amount he reaches with a 5x contribution, up to $5 million.”

Update, thanks to my colleague Marisa Kendall:

Hoffman talked more about his offer Tuesday at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

“I think one of the points of democracy is to actually well understand the candidates who are running for high elected office,” he said. “It should be a requirement, not just a cultural thing, by which we have that kind of transparency.”

End update

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, saying they are under audit — although nothing prevents him from releasing his returns during an audit, the IRS commissioner has said. Trump and his camp also have cited various other reasons, including that voters aren’t interested.

Hoffman’s offer comes the week after Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz pledged $20 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other Democratic Party organizations to help defeat Trump. Moskovitz said last week that he felt “compelled to act” because “the polarization in America today has yielded a race that is about much more than policies and ideas.”

Other tech-industry involvement in presidential politics includes a #NeverTrump app; an anti-Trump letter signed by 150 tech CEOs, academics and others; and billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s pro-Trump speech at the Republican National Convention in July.


Photo: LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman addresses attendees at a hackathon at LinkedIn offices in Mountain View on Nov. 20, 2013. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Hoffman is obviously a liar and hypocrite. Anyone with 3 or more brain cells knows that we need the medical details, not the tax returns. I can’t say how crooked Trump might be, but damn sure he’s not more crooked than Clinton. So, get the medical stuff, stat!