President Trump said Monday that the National Rifle Association -- gripping by infighting and turmoil that exploded into public view over the past week -- is “under siege” by Democratic officials he alleged are working to “destroy” the organization.
“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.
He then urged the NRA, which is chartered in New York, to leave the state.
The president’s tweets come amid upheaval at the organization, with NRA President Oliver North announcing he won’t serve a second term and New York state Attorney General Letitia James pursuing an investigation into the NRA’s finances.
Amid the group's annual convention, North announced Saturday that he would step down from his role as president. The move followed his failed attempt to remove NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The rift within the NRA was fueled in part by the New York investigation.
“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA),” spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly confirmed in an email to the Associated Press. “As part of its investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas.”
William A. Brewer, the NRA’s outside lawyer, said the gun lobby group “will fully cooperate with an inquiry into its finances.”
James, a Democrat, vowed during her campaign last year to investigate the NRA's not-for-profit status if elected.
“I will use the constitutional power as an attorney general to regulate charities, that includes the NRA, to investigate their legitimacy,” she said at a July 12 rally. The group began a review of all its contractors last summer after James first promised to investigate.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, for months has been targeting the NRA and its finances.
The NRA sued Cuomo last year, claiming that Cuomo’s “blacklisting” campaign threatened its ability to pursue its mission. The group said it lost insurance coverage after New York’s actions, which they claimed blocked organizations from doing business with the NRA.
Cuomo, later Monday morning, hit back at Trump blasting him for doing "nothing" about gun violence.
"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," Cuomo tweeted.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Lukas Mikelionis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.