- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2019

President Trump claimed Monday New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James are the cause of the National Rifle Association’s financial woes and power struggles, adding the government is using the justice system to “take down and destroy” the gun lobby.

“The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others. It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS - FAST,” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning, referencing infighting between NRA President Oliver North and Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president.

“People are fleeing New York State because of high taxes and yes, even oppression of sorts,” the president added later. “They didn’t even put up a fight against SALT - could have won. So much litigation. The NRA should leave and fight from the outside of this very difficult to deal with (unfair) State!”

SALT refers to State and Local Tax deductions.

Mr. Cuomo shot back, saying Mr. Trump has “done nothing” to curtail gun violence, and his state is willing to “stand up to the NRA.”

“President Trump: 74,600 Americans have died from gun violence since you were elected. You have done nothing but tweet about it. Unlike you, NY is not afraid to stand up to the NRA. As for the NRA, we’ll remember them in our thoughts and prayers,” the New York Democrat tweeted.

The N.Y. Attorney General Office also released a statement, saying: “Attorney General Letitia James is focused on enforcing the rule of law. In any case we pursue, we will follow the facts wherever they may lead. We wish the President would share our respect for the law.”

Ms. James has launched an investigation and issued subpoenas into the NRA’s tax-exempt status and reports of “questionable payments” by the nonprofit, which is chartered in New York.

Mr. North said in a letter read during the NRA’s annual convention this weekend that he would not seek a second term as president but would be creating a committee to examine Mr. LaPierre’s potential financial mismanagement.

“If true, the NRA nonprofit status is threatened. There is a clear crisis that needs to be dealt with immediately and responsibly so the NRA can continue to focus on protecting our Second Amendment,” he wrote.

Stephen Dinan contributed to this article.

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