June 8th, 2016

Everything you always wanted to know about Trump University…

…and were too weary to ask.

Well, maybe not everything. But plenty. Please take a look. Excerpts (this was written in 2014):

The supreme court of New York ruled earlier that Trump University, now renamed Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, LLC, is liable for its violation of state education laws in its illegally calling the program a “university” without the appropriate licensure or accreditation and for allegedly defrauding students of $40 million…

Using a $6 million advertising campaign, Trump University was marketed to a database of more than one million potential students, including many senior citizens, as an “ivy league quality” university. The sales pitch claimed that Donald Trump was so “integrally involved” that student-victims would have an opportunity similar to his TV show “The Apprentice,” effectively gaining real estate secrets from Trump and his handpicked “faculty of professors and adjunct professors.”

However, Trump has already admitted in court that:

—His involvement was “completely absent.”
—He did not participate in events, teaching, content of the program.
—He did “not even know if students received a degree.”…

When the New York State Education Department (NYSED) informed Trump in 2005 that it was illegal to use the name “university” without a license, Trump did not change the name, but instead opened a sham office in Delaware, which was used as the address on all marketing material, but maintained his main place of operation at the original New York location.

Con, con, con. I mean that literally: Trump is a con man. This is the sort of thing you’d think the MSM would have harped on right along. And yet it didn’t. Funny thing, that; they knew it would come up sooner or later in the courts, preferably once Trump had the nomination sewn up.

Why am I bringing this up now? First, in the interests of truth. Second, because there is still time to replace Trump, although I have little faith that the Republican Party leaders (those supposedly powerful puppet-masters who haven’t seemed to be pulling strings very well this time around) can manage to get their act and their courage together to do it.

Another good article on Trump University and Trump’s role in it is by Leon H. Wolf at RedState. He makes the following excellent point at the outset:

However, in this case, Trump may be using the racism angle as a distraction, and the other stuff he is saying about Trump University might be the real point he is trying to lodge in the voters’ minds. After all, last week the story was on the incredibly damaging documents that were released as part of the Washington Post’s public interest request. Now, the stories of Trump University swindling vulnerable people have gone completely by the wayside while everyone obsesses over whether Trump’s comments were racist or not.

Well, they were racist, but I think Trump is gambling that everyone has more or less made up their minds on that score, and that rubbing it in a little more won’t hurt him that badly. What he really wants people to believe, as they come away from all this, is that this lawsuit is a sham and they shouldn’t take any of the revelations contained in it seriously.

Hear, hear; yes, yes!

Wolf goes on to list six big lies Trump has told about the suit. The entire article is well worth reading, and cannot be easily summarized. Here’s a little excerpt, however, about one of the things Trump did and then lied about:

“[Trump alleges that the] original lead plaintiff withdrew because “she was a disaster” and “she couldn’t win.” This is one of the more galling lies that Trump has repeatedly told throughout his sob story about this case, and he has never once been challenged to his face about it, that I’ve seen. The truth is that Trump’s legal team made this woman – whose name is Tarla Makaeff – go through living hell as part of scorched earth tactics. They countersued her individually and dragged her through separate litigation that was so extensive that at the end of it – which she won – the judge awarded her an astounding $800,000 in legal fees.

She also alleged (and who does not believe her?) that both Trump and his attorneys have repeatedly threatened to ruin her financially for pursuing the suit, regardless of how long it takes. Given that this suit was started five years ago, and that Trump is now running for President, while followed by a bunch of slobbering hate-filled lunatics who harass everyone who dares to disagree with Trump, Makaeff furthermore says (and who does not believe her?) that she does not wish to continue being harassed by Trump, his lawyers, and his fans for the duration of this awful Presidential campaign.

For five years, Makaeff has been the face of the Trump University plaintiffs, and Donald Trump tried to destroy her life for it. He shows every indication of continuing to do so for all eternity. Ordinary people cannot deal with this kind of perpetual pressure in their lives. That is why she withdrew from the case.

Anyone who has followed Trump’s life—his actions for the decades before this campaign season and his actions during this campaign season—recognizes his m.o.. This is pure and classic Trump.

[NOTE: By the way, in addition to those NY rulings described above, Judge Curiel’s rulings in the other section of the Trump U. fraud case apparently also began long before Trump was a candidate (see this). And here’s a previous post of mine about Trump as a con man.]

23 Responses to “Everything you always wanted to know about Trump University…”

  1. Bill Says:

    All the arguments about Trump being better than (or “not as bad as”) Hillary fall apart for me simply on the basis of this: he is a terrible person who steamrolls anyone who gets in his way for any reason. He should not be given an army. He should not be given an executive branch. He will make Obama’s abuses of power look like child’s play, and innocent people will be crushed by him.

    He is unfit to hold the office.

  2. Ann Says:

    This is the sort of thing you’d think the MSM would have harped on right along.

    It wasn’t just that the MSM didn’t play up this kind of stuff — you wrote at least one piece during the Republican primary season asking why Trump’s opponents weren’t doing it either. It seems to have taken Hillary and Elizabeth Warren to turn up the heat — they’ve been blasting away on Trump U and its exploitation of vulnerable people on Twitter and elsewhere for a week or so now.

  3. parker Says:

    Remember Spy vs Spy in Mad Magazine? The 2016 edition now features Criminal vs Criminal. As trump would say, sad.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    Well Neo, counting down to the appearance of the Trump defenders; 10-9-8-7…

    This illustrates exactly a key reason why I do not want Trump anywhere near Presidential power. Sure, the apologists will say that there have been other Presidents who were vindictive; and it is true. However, I don’t know that there has ever been one with the record that Trump has documented before becoming President. Give him the DOJ, IRS, or any number of other agencies with punitive power? I shudder.

    I won’t even go into my concerns about giving a man with questionable self control the power to take the nation into war.

    I will make the obligatory statement that I know of only one candidate worse than Trump. Horrifying that this is Trump’s best argument for winning.

  5. OM Says:

    parker:

    How about Boris and Natasha. (Rocky and Bullwinkle)

  6. OM Says:

    parker:

    How about Boris and Natasha. (Rocky and Bullwinkle). Didn’t know Mad was still around, don’t get out much it seems.

  7. Oldflyer Says:

    Ann, I suspect that the Republican opponents were somewhat constrained by Reagan’s notorious “11th commandment”. Once the gloves did come off, I do not know if they had the time and resources to fully investigate this before he became the presumptive nominee. Now, it is not something that Republicans would want to talk about publicly, anymore than Democrats want to talk about Benghazi, Emails, or the Clinton Foundation.

    I have noted elsewhere that if Trump could control himself, he would have settled this thing as soon as he decided to run; and it would be a footnote. But, Trump gotta be Trump.

    You note that HRC and Warren have only been on it for a week; no doubt using the extensive resources of the media to feed them information.

  8. Ann Says:

    They’ve been basing their criticisms on information in the court documents that were released on May 31.

  9. Ann Says:

    Just found a piece Politico did on March 3rd that looked at some “thousands of pages of documents that comprise the lawsuits attacking a set of education courses GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has boasted about”. So this has been out there for a while.

  10. parker Says:

    OM,

    I don’t know if Mad Magazine is still published. But given the escapades of the last 11 months this would be an appropriate time to buy one.

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    Harvard Business Review
    Seven Surprises for New CEOs
    https://hbr.org/2004/10/seven-surprises-for-new-ceos

    if you own a company with 560 subsidiaries, it would take more than 8 hours at 1 minute for each company to oversee them… given the companies are global, how do you know what your partners who set the company up, run the company, and tell you what is going on?

    its fundemental to being at the top..

    Michael Sexton and Jonathan Spitalny are the two people who came up with the plan, and then got trump to finance it… in 2004

    as to that marketing thing, you can read who did it in
    Trump University Marketing 101: How to Use the Most Powerful Ideas in … By Don Sexton

    you can read his CV from the book here
    http://tinyurl.com/hpzvzly

    remember, we are all considering him guilty before any judgment has been made… ie. acussations = guilt

    the left is notorious for winning by declaring the accused as guilty… and we just got on that bandwagon too… didnt we?

    this case has been going on for a long time and while trump will be financiallly responsible, we are not looking at who was running things and who was telling whom what…

    The idea that one man or woman runs things is false, the higher you go the farther away from the firm you are, the less you know what is going on and the more focused you are in all the things that most people dont know about, and the more your dependent on what your partners or subordinates say

    IE. Trump didnt run trump university, sexton and the other man did, and they even came to trump to get funding and put his name on it, which he probably regrets…
    [edited for length by n-n]

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr:

    The point is not that people expected Trump to be personally involved in the running of the so-called University. The point is that that was what was promised—by Trump. For example, see this.

    Also: “Sommer further alleged that none of the teachers were picked by Trump himself — which marketing materials, as well as Trump himself, has explicitly claimed.”

    The point is not whether you or I would imagine he should be involved to that extent. The point is that he claimed to be, and was not.

  13. Bill Says:

    “remember, we are all considering him guilty before any judgment has been made… ie. acussations = guilt”

    True. But we’re not talking about guilt before the law. All public information about a candidate during an election year can be used by voters to evaluate him/her. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to talk about Hillary’s email situation (because she’s “innocent” before the law at this point).

    Yes, Trump is not expected to know everything about his empire. But he is responsible for it. CEOs have to sign off on things all the time that they are responsible for even if they aren’t intimately familiar with the details. The Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2004 states that a CEO can go to jail for improper financial reporting.

    More pertinent to this case is the information Neo gave above about the cut-throat and merciless scorched-earth tactics of Trump and his lawyers, and the way the marketing for Trump U made it sound like he actually was very involved.

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    It took Artfldgr a little longer than anticipated. Must have stepped out for a glass of Koolaid.

    Ann, my point is that you cited what HRC and Fauxcahontas were saying in the past week, to illustrate how the other candidates came up short months ago. Not exactly fair; aside from the obvious fact that most primary campaigns do not have the motivation, nor the resources, to do opposition research on their primary opponents. I do fault them for being slow to understand that they were in a back alley brawl; but, since most Republicans revere the Reagan “11th commandment” doctrine,–or at least pay lip service to it– it is not too surprising.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Arfldgr:

    But Trump has been proven to be guilty of saying he was much more involved in the running of Trump University than he actually was, so no generalizations about CEOs are relevant in that regard.

    I already wrote this comment addressed to you about that, but I wanted to make it even more clear what I’m talking about.

    Trump himself made ads in which he said the following:

    “We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best… and these are people that are handpicked by me.”

    But in the NY court proceedings he admitted he had nothing to do with the people who taught at Trump University:

    In Trump’s own deposition this past December, Trump failed to recognize the name of a single presenter or teacher at his real estate seminars. He also confirmed he had nothing to do with the selection process of instructors who taught at the school’s events or mentors for the school’s “Gold Elite” programs.

    A review of Trump University presenters and so-called real estate experts found many with questionable credentials and inflated resumes. Court documents show background-checks conducted during the hiring process could not determine whether some instructors even graduated high school.

    It was a con. And he was part of the con—personally part of it, when he made those ads. That’s not an unsubstantiated allegation. It’s based on facts he admitted in sworn testimony.

  16. Cornhead Says:

    From a legal point of view that Trump doesn’t seem to get is that there are legit questions of fact such that no way was he going to get the case tossed on summary judgment.

  17. blert Says:

    Is it any wonder that many have posted that the MSM wanted Trump as the target for this Fall ?

    Absolutely NONE of this is new news — it’s OLD news.

    Amazingly, (/sarc) none of this came into the MSM spotlight until Trump was confirmed as the GOP target bearer.

    Ted Cruz had // has NOTHING like this baggage.

    That’d be “Truthin’ Ted Cruz.”

  18. expat Says:

    artfldgr,

    While it is true that CEos don’t manage the day-to-day business of their subsidiaries, I bet they do very careful research before they buy into them. Trump seems to invest money in or sell his name to lots of things without doing the research. Think of the Scottish golf course with the rainy weather location. Think of the Trump Steaks that no one liked.

    Even if he has some staff who could check out possible investments, my bet is that Trump’s impulsive ego wins out over facts.

  19. Chester Draws Says:

    It was a con.

    Worse. When caught he fought tooth and nail. He doubled down, as he always does, rather than admit a mistake. He never admits a mistake.

    He can’t let anything against him go. Ever.

    His presidency will be all about Trump. All the time. Nothing else will get done. Unless it is about Trump.

  20. Yann Says:

    Second, because there is still time to replace Trump, although I have little faith that the Republican Party leaders can manage to get their act and their courage together to do it.

    Much better: why not to ban elections in the GOP?

    Even better: you could ban US elections. They are ANNOYING, some times people choose leaders you don’t like. It’s disgusting. Imagine replacing Obama, and now Trump, and putting the guy you like. Doesn’t sound it wonderful? 🙂

    Instead of “we the people”, much better “we the hierarchy” or “we the bloggers”. Common people are stupid, you can’t trust them with important things like choosing who is gonna govern the country.

    Of course, some people wouldn’t like it. But what are jails for? 🙂

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Yann:

    Better yet—why don’t YOU create an strawman analogy that makes no sense?

    Look, I know you’re not from this country. But your ignorance about the party process and the political process is showing.

    A political party is a political party, and it is under no obligation whatsoever to have input from the people about which candidate it chooses to nominate. In fact, until the 1960s, and certainly earlier, that’s the way it was done in this country—most states did not have primaries. And yet we were nevertheless a democracy (actually a republic).

    The people have the right to vote in the election, and no one is suggesting that that right should be taken away What’s more, people can vote for whomever they wish, including writing someone in.

    And a political party can nominate whomever it wishes to, and can select that person by any process it chooses.

    The two processes—party nomination and election—are separate. The US Constitution doesn’t even mention political parties. The parties are free to select a nominee by reading tea leaves if they wish to, and people are free to accept or reject that nominee in the voting booth, as they wish.

  22. Bilwick Says:

    I’d be happy with that, if the GOP didn’t replace him with some namby-pamby who’s going to play softball with Hillary in the debates. We need someone who will hit hard. Trump, at least, is likely to do that.

  23. Bill Says:

    “We need someone who will hit hard. Trump, at least, is likely to do that.”

    I don’t think Trump himself is looking forward to the debates, because he’s not all that good at debating. Hrc is an awful person but she has a much firmer grasp of policy specifics than does Donald.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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