In case you're wondering why real estate mogul Donald Trump called New York Atty. Gen. Eric T. Schneiderman a political hack and why he's going on a tirade on Twitter, let's recap, shall we?

The drama began unfolding Saturday when Schneiderman sued Trump,  alleging that consumers who attended his school, the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, formerly known as Trump University, were bilked out of thousands for sham courses.

The lawsuit says that the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, which operated from 2005 to 2011, was an unlicensed education institute that promised to teach students Trump's real estate investment techniques. Instead, the students were steered into expensive, useless courses that left many in debt, according to the lawsuit.

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Students, the lawsuit contends, were initially lured in by a free seminar and later upsold a three-day seminar. At the longer seminar, some consumers were talked into paying up to $35,000 for a Trump Elite mentorship program, which promised more personalized attention.

"Despite claims to the contrary, consumers who paid for and attended the three-day seminars were not taught everything they needed to know about real estate investing," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Trump, the attorney general said, "used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn't afford for lessons they never got."

But Trump wasn't going to take that without responding. In a phone interview with Fox & Friends, he called the New York attorney general a "political hack."

He defended his school and said that students who took his courses gave him a 98% approval rating. He said the lawsuit was politically motivated and he pointed to the fact that President Obama had met with Schneiderman on Thursday, a few days before the lawsuit was filed. 

"Thug Politics," read a tweet from Trump's Twitter feed. "Lightweight hack Schneiderman meets with Obama on Thursday, then brings frivolous suit on Saturday."

In an appearance on CNN Monday, Schneiderman responded to some of Trump's criticism. 

"Prosecutors are all used to people who commit fraud making wild accusations when they're caught," he said. "It's just an effort to distract from the substance of the case."

And on the point that Obama knew about the pending lawsuit when they spoke in Syracuse last week? 

"The president and I had much more important stuff to talk about than Donald Trump," Schneiderman said.

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com