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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Reprinted with permission from ProPublica. Update November 19, 2016: President-elect Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits from students who say they were defrauded by Trump University.

Trump University promised to help students get rich. Enrollees would study the wisdom of The Donald and get mentoring from other terrific businesspeople. But a class-action suit by former students and a suit brought by the New York attorney general allege that the unaccredited “school” mainly helped students part with the money in their wallets. (Trump has called the suits a “scam” and “thug politics.”)

Trump Spins in Foreclosure Game

The Los Angeles Times, December 2007

As subprime mortgages were skyrocketing in 2007, columnist David Lazarus noticed a Trump University ad promising to teach students how to make “millions in foreclosures.” So Lazarus went to class. The instructor had never bought a house in California, had been through bankruptcy, and had gone through foreclosure with his own home. After the column ran, Trump told Lazarus it was “inaccurate and libelous.” When Lazarus asked what the problem was, Trump said, “You’ll find out in court.” Trump never sued. But he did submit a letter to the editor, which he demanded that the paper run in extra-large print.

Trump U. Hit by Complaints From Those Who Paid Up to 30G, and Say They Got Very Little in Return

New York Daily News, May 2010

By 2010, 150 people had filed complaints with 22 states about Trump University, the New York Daily News found. The school had just received a D- rating from the Better Business Bureau. One former student in California complained she paid $80,000 for access to mentors who didn’t call her back. Another student, a New York City schoolteacher, said she lost her savings, maxed out her credit cards, and had nothing to show for it.

Tales From the Trump University Legal Vault

Politico, March 2016

A 2010 playbook for Trump University gave staff handy instructions: Like to how to rank students based on assets to determine who was most likely to buy more Trump University classes. Or what to do “if an attorney general arrives on the scene.” (Show them nothing unless they have a warrant and call someone named April Neumann “immediately”.)

Trump University Hired Motivational Speakers and a Felon as Faculty

The Daily Beast, March 2016

One Trump University instructor liked to tell students his “rags-to-riches” story: He was homeless in a subway at 19, where he met someone who taught him about real estate and became a top broker. He left out a few details, though: He threatened to kill his ex-wife and was convicted for aggravated assault. Trump once said he “hand-picked” the instructors and then changed his tune to say he doesn’t remember the employees.

At Trump University, Students Recall Pressure to Give Positive Reviews

The New York Times, March 2016

Trump likes to tout the 98 percent approval rating Trump University received from its students. But the surveys, according to legal documents and interviews with former staff and students, weren’t anonymous and were submitted to instructors in exchange for graduation certificates. One instructor said he asked students to fill out the survey in front of him. A former student said he was pressured by his mentor to give the mentor top ratings. (Trump has not backed down on the number. See his website: 98percentapproval.com.)

Trump University and the Art of the Get-rich Seminar

Ars Technica, April 2016

Before Trump University there was Trump Institute. And before Trump Institute there was the National Grants Conference, a seminar founded by Mike and Irene Milin that claimed it could teach students how to get government grants—for memberships at only $999. None of the NGC members got money, but NGC raked in millions from students. In 2006, Trump licensed his name to the Milins to create the Trump Institute. Trump Institute kept much of NGC’s old materials but promised to share the billionaire secrets. But the NGC soon fell into legal trouble in multiple states, and Trump didn’t renew the license with them in 2009. By that time, Trump University was well established, but still using the same tactics the Milins started at the National Grants Conference.

Trump Involved in Crafting Controversial Trump University Ads, Executive Testified

The Washington Post, May 2016

Donald Trump personally vetted ads and shaped the promotion of Trump University—contrary to what his lawyers had implied—according to the 2012 deposition of Trump University’s president. The deposition, part of a class-action lawsuit brought by former students, was released along with other trial records in response to a request from the Washington Post. Another document showed that a portion of Trump University speaker fees were directly tied to how many students the speaker could get to sign up for more seminars.

Florida AG Asked Trump for Donation Before Nixing Fraud Case

The Associated Press, June 2016

In September 2013, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that she was considering New York’s investigation of Trump University. Four days later, a group supporting Bondi’s reelection got a $25,000 donation from a Trump family foundation. Bondi had personally solicited the donation. After the check came in, Bondi’s office announced that it would not join the investigation. Bondi has since endorsed Trump for president. Bondi declined to comment.

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7 responses to “The Absolute Best, Most Terrific Reporting On Trump University”

  1. Thoughtopsy says:

    Again very hard for the usual trolls to spin this one…. so where are they? Yeah… *crickets*

    • The lucky one says:

      Oh, I imagine aglander will be along after he changes his Depends.

    • KDJ54 says:

      Well, its because their Russian handlers think this is the dumbest thing Trump has ever done and that’s saying a lot. Putin would never do anything this brazenly fraudulent. So, I’m assuming they haven’t got their marching orders on this one. Plus there’s no Clinton alleged equivalent they can make up to obfuscate this pile of Trumpian horse manure.

  2. Al Capone would have been quite content living in this era—no Eliot Ness to be breathing down his neck about tax evasion, and a large number of people more concerned with emails than with groping and swindling students at a bogus university with a felon as a professor.

    • I Am Helpy says:

      Al Capone opened soup kitchens and regularly helped out the poor. He was a monster, and he would still have been horrified by this guy.

  3. Jon says:

    Too bad Trump voters didn’t know he had swindled hard working Americans out of their savings. They gave something and some gave everything they had and Trump gave them nothing in return. Lies and broken promises are two of his favorite manipulative tools. If only they had known about this before November 8th.

  4. bernicemowrey says:

    1 yr have passed since I decided to leave my last work and it was a best decision i made in my life… I started freelancing at home, for a company I found over internet, few hrs every day, and I make much more than i did on my previous work… My pay-check for last month was for Nine thousand bucks… Great thing about it is that i have more free time for my loved ones… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

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