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Trump sued by New York for 'using charity as piggy bank'

Attorney general says the Trump Foundation illegally supported his presidential bid.

The Trump Foundation said the new lawsuit is 'politics at its very worst'.
The Trump Foundation said the new lawsuit is 'politics at its very worst'. AP

New York's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump's foundation, claiming it served as a personal piggy bank for his businesses, legal bills and presidential campaign.

Democrat Barbara Underwood filed the suit against the Trump Foundation and its directors, Mr Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.

The suit seeks 2.8 million dollars (£2.1 million) in restitution and the dissolution of the foundation.

Ms Underwood said the foundation illegally helped support the Republican's campaign by raising money at a nationally televised fundraiser in January 2016, then allowing campaign staff to dictate how the money was spent in grants.

Mr Trump insisted he would not settle the lawsuit, calling it a "ridiculous case" that former state attorney general Eric Schneiderman "never had the guts to bring" forward before he "resigned his office in disgrace".

Trump made a similar claim that he would not settle a lawsuit charging that his Trump University misled customers, but ultimately paid a 25 million dollar (£18 million) settlement last year.

The Trump Foundation said the new lawsuit is "politics at its very worst".

The foundation defended its record, saying it had donated over 19 million dollars (£14 million) to worthy charitable causes.

It said it had been planning to shut down for more than a year, but had been stopped from doing so because of the state's investigation.

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