Responding publicly to a $40 million lawsuit against him, Donald Trump called
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a "total lightweight."
The suit alleges Trump ran a get-rich-quick scheme that defrauded thousands of students seeking his counsel on real estate investing by steering them to costly and useless seminars as part of what was once known as Trump University.
Speaking on NBC's "Today" show, the real estate mogul-turned-reality television star mocked Schneiderman and denied anyone who enrolled in what's now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Institute was swindled.
Trump also charged Schneiderman was soliciting campaign contributions from employees at Trump Enterprises while investigating the case.
"During the investigation, he was asking people in my firm, including one of my lawyers, for campaign contributions,'' Trump said. "Who ever heard of this? He's asking for campaign contributions while he's looking into Trump. I mean what kind of an attorney general is this?"
Schneiderman denied the fundraising charge, saying Trump made a contribution years ago but he's never been asked to donate again.
"All prosecutors are used to people who can't respond to allegations in a complaint making crazy allegations to distract from them,'' Schneiderman said. "Mr. Trump supported someone else against me in 2010. After I had won the Democratic primary, he gave me a check. That's the last money he ever gave to me. The facts of the complaint speak for themselves. This was a massive fraud."
Trump said 98 percent of students enrolled in his real estate education program report who are surveyed after completing the regiment are satisfied with the program.
Schneiderman disagreed, calling it a "fraud."
"This is a very, very classic bait-and-switch scheme where they were promised that they were going to learn the secrets of success in real estate,'' Schneiderman said. "They took people who couldn't afford it, who were desperate for money, and got them to pay them $40 million. This was not a university. People were not taught real-estate secrets. It was a fraud.''
Trump's response: "We're dealing with an attorney general who everyone in New York knows is a total lightweight,'' Trump said. "He's very unpopular. ... He lets Wall Street and everybody else rape everybody, and doesn't do a thing. He goes after Donald Trump for his school that has a 98 percent approval rating."
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