By Geoff Herbert
President Donald Trump is targeting his home state on Twitter, encouraging the National Rifle Association to leave New York over "oppression of sorts."
"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!" Trump tweeted Monday morning.
"....People are fleeing New York State because of high taxes and yes, even oppression of sorts. 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!"
The tweets came after New York State Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation into the NRA's nonprofit status and issued subpoenas over the weekend into the finances of the gun owners' group. James vowed during her AG campaign last year to probe whether the NRA complies with state not-for-profit rules.
Trump has frequently clashed with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, accusing him of pushing residents out of the state with "poorly run government." Cuomo and his team have called Trump "the great divider in chief," calling his "worldview trapped in 1988" while criticizing the Republican tax plan known as SALT.
James has also drawn the ire of Trump with multiple state investigations into the president and his businesses. Subpoenas issued last month sought information on loan applications, mortgages, and lines of credit for transactions including Trump's failed bid to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
Meanwhile, the NRA is in turmoil as famed Iran-Contra figure Oliver North announced Saturday that he would not serve a second term as the NRA's president. According to CNN, North tried to remove longtime NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre over allegations of financial misconduct, including the improper use of $200,000 of NRA funds to purchase clothing from a vendor.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both spoke at the NRA's annual convention on Friday, vowing to fight for gun rights and encouraging the group to rally behind their 2020 re-election bid.
"It's under assault," he claimed of the Second Amendment. "But not while we're here."
According to the Associated Press, Trump announced Friday that he would revoke the United States' status as a signatory of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the multibillion-dollar global arms trade in conventional weapons, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. The NRA opposed the pact signed by President Barack Obama in 2013, but it has never been ratified by U.S. lawmakers.
"Under my administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone," Trump said, before signing a document on stage directing the Senate to halt the ratification process. "We will never allow foreign diplomats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom."
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