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A secret recording obtained by NPR reveals The National Rifle Association’s legal troubles have cost the gun-rights group in excess of $100 million, further jeopardizing the organization’s financial stability.

From NPR:

In the January 2020 recording, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre criticizes ongoing investigations by the New York and Washington, D.C., attorneys general, bemoaning “the power of weaponized government.” And he told the NRA’s board of directors, assembled for the group’s winter meeting in January, that the organization has had to make $80 million in cuts to stay afloat.

The NRA’s internal turmoil burst into the open at the April 2019 annual members’ meeting, when then-President Oliver North stepped down from the organization in protest after allegations of self-dealing and poor management of NRA funds were revealed in media reports.

Subsequently, the New York and D.C. attorneys general launched investigations into the NRA’s finances. Eight board members have resigned over the last year. And the NRA has been locked into protracted and costly legal battles with its longtime public relations firm.

LaPierre says in the recording that the scandals that have consumed the organization since 2018 have inflicted severe financial harm”

“The cost that we bore was probably about a hundred-million-dollar hit in lost revenue and real cost to this association in 2018 and 2019,” LaPierre says in the recording. “I mean, that’s huge.”

Hear the full recording:

According to NPR, the figures revealed in the secret recording are the first time that LaPierre has offered specifics on much the ongoing legal battles have cost the organization.

The NRA and its affiliates raised more than $412 million and spent more than $423 million in 2018, the last year for which there is public reporting.

Former NRA-TV contributor and 2nd Amendment lawyer, and WIBC host Guy Relford joined Hammer and Nigel Wednesday to discuss the recording and provide insight on the NRA’s ongoing problems, including a challenge to the group’s non-profit status. Click below to listen.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images