As my colleague Daniel Politi reported over the weekend, the New York state attorney general's office is suing Donald Trump for $40 million, claiming his for-profit investment school was nothing more than "an elaborate bait-and-switch" where classes were often just sales pitches for more expensive classes. On Monday, Trump went on Good Morning America and Fox News and responded as only Trump can. Or, more specifically, he responded the only way Trump seems to know how to respond when things go against him: by blaming President Obama. Mediaite transcribed one of the exchanges in question:
Trump found it highly suspicious that [New York AG Eric] Schneiderman met with Obama in Syracuse on Thursday and then filed the lawsuit on Saturday. "This guy is a political hack looking to get publicity," Trump said. "By the way, he meets with President Obama on Thursday evening in Syracuse. On Saturday at 1:00 he files a suit."
"You’re saying President Obama is behind this?" [George] Stephanopoulos asked. “You just threw the charge out there. Do you believe it or not?”
"Who ever heard of a government agency bringing a lawsuit on Saturday afternoon?" Trump said. "He’s been looking into this thing for two years. He brings a lawsuit on Saturday afternoon, right after he meets with President Obama. Maybe it’s a mini IRS."
Trump is also blaming Schneiderman, claiming that the New York attorney general filed the suit because Trump refused to donate to his campaign. In a moment that only a select few PR pros could pull off with a straight face and without even a hint of self-awareness, Trump told Fox & Friends this of Schneiderman: "He figures by going after Trump, he can get some publicity, which he will get, but we’ll try and make it uncomfortable as possible."
Appearing on CNBC, Schneiderman brushed aside Trump's defense(s). "You can't ... defraud 5,000 people out of $40 million and then distract things by saying things like, 'Oh, this is a conspiracy between me and President Obama,' or I was soliciting money from people who had some affiliation with him. The case speaks for itself. The documentary evidence is overwhelming," the attorney general said.
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