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Trump refutes university fraud claim

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NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is confident the lawsuit filed against him and the online university he founded will be settled.

Trump has refuted the charges of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman saying the "lightweight" wants "publicity."

The attorney general sued Trump for $40 million on Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony "Trump University" that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.

Trump shot back that the attorney general’s lawsuit is false and politically motivated.

"We have such dedicated people. We have a 98 percent approval. Eric Schneiderman, everyone knows, he’s a political hack, he’s incompetent and he wants publicity. We want to settle the case. We want to go to court. He met late Thursday with President Obama. He filed the case on Saturday. It’s a big coincidence. This wasn’t for me to get rich. It was for me to help people. If I had made money, I would have given it to charity," said Trump during FOX 5 morning show Good Day New York.

Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of "The Apprentice" TV star.

"Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers' advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm," Schneiderman said. "Trump University, with Donald Trump's knowledge and participation, relied on Trump's name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand."

Trump has used his Twitter account to slam Schneiderman’s claims.

“Lightweight NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to extort me with a civil law suit.”

“Extortion was the first thing that came to mind when i saw the report for the lawsuit. You can sue!”

“Lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman, who has been a total failure in office, failed to report the 98% approval rating of students for courses”

Trump's attorney Michael D. Cohen has accused Schneiderman of trying to extort campaign contributions from Trump through his investigation of the real estate mogul. Cohen told The Associated Press that Schneiderman's lawsuit was filled with falsehoods and that Trump and his university never defrauded anyone.

“It is not surprising that the unpopular NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman leaked to the press his intent on filing a petition prior to actually doing so. The action has no merit and is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt to deflect from his weak job performance. I am shocked he didn't leak it to the Kris Kardashian show. Maybe his office should focus more of their attention and the use of our tax dollars on bringing to justice those responsible for the financial meltdown.”

Cohen also added that Trump University provided nearly 11,000 testimonials to Schneiderman from students praising the program and said 98 percent of students in a survey termed the program "excellent."

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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