On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl informed viewers of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years, with the ABC correspondent dismissing the accusation as "outrageous and apparently unfounded."
Karl went on to note that Reid "offered not one shred of evidence, drawing ridicule from late night comedian Jon Stewart."
As he theorized that Reid was trying to bait the GOP presidential candidate into releasing more of his tax returns, Karl then revisited the subject of Romney's taxes and the GOP candidate's refusal to tell ABC's David Muir whether he had ever paid "lower than 13.9 percent."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, August 3, World News on ABC:
JONATHAN KARL: Campaigning in Nevada, Romney also had to deal with a different set of numbers, the amount he pays in taxes.
MITT ROMNEY: I have paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes, a lot of taxes.
KARL: He was responding to an outrageous and apparently unfounded allegation from Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate.
HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The word is, he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years.
KARL: Reid offered not one shred of evidence, drawing ridicule from late night comedian Jon Stewart. The allegation has got under Romney's skin.
ROMNEY: Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up, so, Harry, who are your sources?
KARL: But Reid is really just trying to goad Romney into releasing more tax returns. He's only released last year's return and an estimate of this year's, showing he paid a tax rate of about 13.9 percent. Last week, David Muir asked him about that.
DAVID MUIR: Was there ever any year when you paid lower than 13.9 percent?
ROMNEY: I haven't calculated that. I'm happy to go back and look.
KARL: But Romney made it clear once again today he will release this year's tax return when it is complete, and no more. He wants to talk about jobs, David, not his taxes.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center