In Donald Trump’s world, he’s the heavyweight champ. And his opponents are “total lightweights.”
The billionaire businessman lashed out at his critics, particularly New York’s attorney general, who is accusing Trump of defrauding more than 5,000 students who have enrolled in his “Trump University.”
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman slapped Trump with a $40 million lawsuit over the weekend, alleging the real estate mogul made bogus claims about the school, including that students would become rich and that he was personally involved in crafting the curriculum and selecting instructors.
Schneiderman also alleged instructors used the three-day classes, convincing students to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000, to join the pricy “Trump Elite” membership programs.
Trump made the morning show rounds and a Twitter rant on Monday to rip the claims, in which he repeatedly called Schneiderman a “lightweight.”
“Amazing! AG Schneiderman sues a school w/a 98% approval rating but doesn’t go after billion $ fraudsters all over Wall Street,” he tweeted. “Why isn’t AG Schneiderman going after Democrat Jon Corzine and that $1.4 billion that is ‘missing?’ he added.
Trump is also accusing the Democratic attorney general of spearheading the investigation with the goal of trying to extort campaign contributions from him.
“This is just a political hack who wants to get publicity,” The Apprentice host told MSNBC on Morning Joe. “Who interestingly…has been asking us for campaign contributions during the investigation. He wants something, he needs something. How could he get publicity better than suing Donald trump?”
Schneiderman, meanwhile hit back on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co., insisting “This was a scam from top to bottom.” He argued Trump was launching personal attacks against him to distract from the allegations. “The facts of the complaint speak for itself,” the attorney general said.
Trump maintains he misled no one.
“I think that the students that enrolled knew exactly what they were doing and what they were getting,’’ said Trump on NBC’s Today show, adding he was heavily involved in picking the instructors and designing the curriculum. “After the seminars and after they finished the courses they were given an application to sign, or like a report card on us. ‘What do you think of the job that they did? What did you think of the instructors?’ We had a 98% approval.”
He then compared his school’s ratings to that of Harvard University and the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
“But those are universities,” said Today’s Carl Quintanilla.
The school began operating in 2005, and was forced to change its name to the Trump Entrepreneur Institute by way of the New York State Education Department.