Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer argued Tuesday that there was nothing untoward about Donald Trump donating $25,000 to Florida’s attorney general shortly before she decided against launching a fraud investigation into his Trump University.
Asked on CNN if Trump’s donation to a political committee focused on re-electing Republican Pam Bondi amounted to a “pay-to-play” scheme, Spicer replied, “Not at all.”
“There were 48 other attorneys general that didn’t investigate this,” he continued. “The only one that did was Eric Schneiderman, who is a Hillary Clinton supporter. Of all of the 50 states where this was brought up, only one state pursued it, New York, a close ally of Hillary Clinton.”
Schneiderman’s office launched a fraud investigation against Trump University in 2013 when, as the attorney general previously told CNN, he had “no idea” Trump was going to run for president.
The New York Democrat, who has endorsed Clinton, has forcefully criticized the program as a “fraud from beginning to end,” saying that students were defrauded out of tens of thousands of dollars for classes that were effectively worthless.
While Trump also faces two class-action lawsuits in California for allegedly using aggressive sales techniques to lure prospective students, Schneiderman was the only attorney general to pursue charges against the billionaire businessman.
According to Spicer, the fact that attorneys general in other states did not launch their own investigations proved that there was “no merit in going forward.”
The RNC spokesman added that discussion of any potential pay-to-play regarding Bondi should have been settled with the $2,500 fine Trump paid to the IRS last week for the donation, which came from his charitable foundation. As a registered nonprofit, the Trump Foundation is prohibited from making any political donations.
“There was a clerical error that was made, all fixed, paperwork refiled,” Spicer said. “That’s it.”