April 29, 2019; Washington Post
Yesterday, NPQ reported on the NRA’s membership conference of last weekend, which featured the resignation (or ouster) of Oliver North as president of the organization and calls for Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s executive of 30 years, to resign. The conference came close on the heels of an exposé by The Trace and the New Yorker that uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable spending and a series of too-close relationships between the nonprofit’s leaders and PR agency Ackerman McQueen, along with its affiliates.
While the organization has been doing a self-review and has sued Ackerman McQueen for its records—presumably so it can clean up its act—President Trump, who gave a speech at the convention, believes that the NRA’s troubles don’t come from within, but from without. He believes that New York’s Governor Cuomo and attorney general, the same one that closed the Donald J. Trump Foundation for playing fast and loose with nonprofit regulations, are pursuing the group illegally.
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“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,” Tweeted Trump without supplying any evidence.
He then changed course a bit and belatedly cautioned the NRA to “get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting & get back to GREATNESS—FAST!”
As many readers know, the NRA spent more than any other group on electing Trump in 2016, but it has recently fallen on hard times, as both its finances and membership have declined.—Ruth McCambridge