The Newest: Trump Informs NRA grievances about Mueller probe

Apr 29, 2019, 01:14
The Newest: Trump Informs NRA grievances about Mueller probe

The finances of the National Rifle Association and its charitable foundation are under investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, amid allegations of internal extortion that caused NRA President Oliver North to announce he will not serve a second term.

North, who gained worldwide notoriety as a key figure in the Iran-Contra arms scandal under President Ronald Reagan, was forced out as president of the influential National Rifle Association by the group's longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre.

North made it clear he was being pushed out by the NRA's board of directors.

"I believe the goal of the letter was to humiliate me, discredit our Association, and raise appearances of impropriety that hurt our members and the Second Amendment", LaPierre wrote in the letter, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Main image: US President Donald Trump speaks at the Nation Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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The review led the NRA to sue its longtime public relations firm, Oklahoma-based Ackerman McQueen, which some NRA officials complained was refusing to turn over financial records.

LaPierre alleged that North has "contractual and financial loyalties" to Ackerman McQueen and was, therefore, protecting them, according to the Journal.

North has a $1 million contract with Ackerman McQueen, raising alarm bells among some in the NRA about conflicts of interest. North was not present at the meeting when the statement was read by Richard Childress, the NRA's first vice president.

Mr. North said in the letter, read by Mr. Childress, that he officially assumed the office as NRA president in September 2018 and said he was confronted by NRA board members who expressed concern about the amount of money the NRA was paying to the Brewer law firm.

When Lieutenant Colonel North was appointed president of the organisation, Mr LaPierre hailed him as "a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader".

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The LaPierre-North feud and related issues will be on the agenda Monday during the expected meeting of the NRA's 76-member board, TheWSJ reported.

United Nations officials told Reuters news agency that the organisation was previously unaware that Mr Trump was planning to take the USA out of the pact.

LaPierre wrote that after the call, he was informed by others that he "needed to withdraw the NRA lawsuit against [Ackerman McQueen] or be smeared". "I didn't think too many of you would really know what it is".

He then held up a document, which he said he'll send to the US Senate asking them to discontinue the ratification process.

He was at odds with LaPierre and some board members who believe the group's media operation and messaging have strayed too far from the NRA's original mission of gun safety and the outdoors.

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