Trump, Cruz
Trump, CruzReuters

Donald Trump’s GOP rivals are putting increasing pressure on the New York billionaire to release his tax returns ahead of the crucial Super Tuesday vote on March 1st.

Both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s leading competitors in the race for the Republican nomination, released their tax returns on Sunday and demanded that the GOP frontrunner do the same.

Trump pledged to release his taxes without delay, bashing 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney for not immediately releasing his tax returns. But Trump later backpedaled, telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that an IRS audit had forced him to push off a release.

Since then, Trump’s opponents have stuck on the issue, insisting there’s a “bombshell” the real estate mogul is keen to hide from voters. Romney was first to make the suggestion, which has since been repeated by both Rubio and Cruz.

Cruz even threw out some possible bombshells, suggesting to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that Trump’s “business dealings with the mob” may be “a lot more extensive than has been reported."

When Todd prodded Cruz about his assertion regarding Trump’s “dealings with the mob," Cruz responded by citing reports linking the billionaire with a construction company owned by the now-deceased mafia boss “Fat Tony” Salerno.

ABC, CNN, multiple news reports have reported about his – some dealings with, for example, S&A Construction, which was owned by 'Fat Tony' Salerno, who is a mobster who is in jail,” Cruz told Todd.

“It is owned by two of the major New York crime families. And that has been reported in multiple media outlets.”

Despite his initial promise to release his tax returns immediately, Trump now insists an IRS audit may prevent their release before the general election in November. If Trump were nominated and would fail to release his returns, it would make him the first major party candidate since 1976 not to offer their tax records to the public.