Donald Trump is being sued by the New York attorney general’s office for operating an investment “university” that allegedly defrauded students rather than providing the promised instruction.
But instead of letting his lawyers handle it, the real estate mogul is taking to Twitter to defend himself, tout his now-defunct education company, and accuse President Obama of masterminding the lawsuit.
On Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted that the lawsuit came days after New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman met with President Obama, implying the suit against him was a political vendetta being carried out at the behest of the president. Trump has emerged as an outspoken Republican pundit who backed Mitt Romney in the last election and fed the "birther" conspiracies on the right by questioning whether Obama was born in the United States.
Wow, l just found out that A.G. Schneiderman met with President Obama in Syracuse on Thursday --- and sued me on Saturday! Same as IRS etc.
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2013
Trump also fired off a series of tweets claiming Schneiderman has “no case,” citing that it was filed on a Saturday afternoon and that Schniederman had assured Trump Organization, the university’s parent company, that “"this case is going away” and “we have no case.”
Trump has also been retweeting tweets from people supporting him and his university, which ceased operations in 2011.
On Monday, in addition to tweeting, Trump continued his public defense with an appearance on "Fox and Friends." He has also set up a website in this public relations war with the attorney general, 98percentapproval.com, claiming his university had a 98 percent approval rating from people who took his courses.
Lightweight NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to extort me with a civil law suit. See website http://t.co/qTflzWGXud
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2013
Finally, Trump called Schneiderman a “total sleazebag” for soliciting campaign donations from him while also investigating his university. Trump’s lawyers have accused Schneiderman of growing angry when Trump didn’t donate.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office responded to this accusation, saying that Schneiderman had accepted a contribution from Trump but that “the fact that he’s still brave enough to follow the investigation wherever it may lead speaks to Mr. Schneiderman’s character,” according to the New York Times.
Pema Levy is a senior politics reporter. Before joining the International Business Times, Pema covered the 2012 elections at Talking Points Memo and wrote about politics at...