President Trump may release his tax returns — after he leaves office.

In an interview with The Economist conducted last week but published Thursday, Trump said he does plan on releasing his tax returns but the timing may not be when many people would like it to happen.

"At some point I'll release them. Maybe I'll release them after I'm finished because I'm very proud of them actually," Trump said. "I did a good job."

After White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks jumped in to clarify that Trump meant he'd release them "once the audit is over," Trump contradicted her by saying, "I might release them after I'm out of office."

The Trump administration had repeatedly used an IRS audit as justification for Trump not releasing his tax returns, despite the fact that Trump could choose to release his tax returns if he wanted to even if he was under audit.

Last month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump is not going to release the returns, period.

Trump's tax returns have often been the subject of criticism from Demcorats. Trump was the first presidential candidate in the modern era to refuse to release his tax returns during the campaign and has continued to refuse to release them since taking office in January.

When asked if he would consider releasing them in order to get Democratic votes on his tax reform package, Trump said no.

"I would never do it. That would be ... I think that would be unfair to the deal. It would be disrespectful of the importance of this deal. Because the only people that find that important are the reporters," he said.

He then argued it doesn't matter if he releases the returns.

"Well, don't forget I got elected without it. Somebody said, 'Oh but you have to do it,' I said, 'Look where I am,'" Trump said. "I was, you know, I was out front, I was asked that question, every debate, I said, you know, I'm under routine audit."