June 9th, 2016

Trump University, last February

It’s not as though the Trump University fraud trial was unknown till recently. It had just gotten lost in the shuffle of so many other things.

I went back to see what I had previously written about it, and I found that in February 2016 there was this:

Did you know that Trump is being sued for fraud in connection with Trump University? Why isn’t this a top headline?

Why, indeed.

I knew the answer, even then; my question was rhetorical. It wasn’t being pushed by the MSM because the MSM wanted Trump to be nominated, both for political reasons (they felt he was the weakest GOP candidate and by golly, I think they were correct) and selfish reasons (good for their ratings). They knew they would have plenty of opportunity to write about it when it would damage Trump the most—in the general.

At the time, I added:

Oh, and does this sound familiar?:

“On Dec. 10, 2015, during a day he was making international headlines over his pledge to ban Muslim immigrants from the United States, Trump managed to escape any press attention and give a closed-door pretrial deposition in the case, according to court filings reviewed by Yahoo News. Exactly what he said in the deposition remains under seal, but lawyers for Tarla Makaeff, a California yoga instructor who is the lead plaintiff in the case, cited portions of his testimony (blacked out in her pleadings) to support their contention that Trump has threatened to ruin her financially for bringing the lawsuit and that she needs protection from his ‘retaliation.’”

Trump “managed to escape any press attention”—oh, I doubt it was all that hard to escape. As I said, they didn’t want to give him a lot of attention for the case back then.

However, the pattern of his conduct towards Makaeff should be familiar to anyone with even a cursory familiarity with Trump’s actions in the past towards his opponents in civil lawsuits.

One more thing and then I’ll shut up about Trump University (at least for a little while, anyway), which is that Trump himself made advertisements in which he said the following about Trump U.:

“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.”

Doesn’t that sound strangely familiar, too?

But in court proceedings he admitted he had little to nothing to do with hiring or “picking” (hand or otherwise) 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.

There’s also this:

Though he did not know a single instructor when a list of names was read to him during the deposition, Trump said in December he saw the resumes of some instructors but did not review them and instead left the hiring decisions to Sexton.

And in a telling exchange about Trump’s lack of involvement with the school, Trump, as a witness in the case, admitted he knew little about the background and qualifications of Sexton himself.

Attorney: “And Mr. Sexton, he had no background in terms of buying and selling real estate for profit, did he?”

Trump: “He was more of an educational person”

Records show Michael Sexton, the president of Trump University, has spent almost his entire career in business and consulting, not education.

Even Trump’s attorney didn’t try to allege that Trump’s promises about how he had “hand-picked” the teachers at Trump U. were true. The attorney said was that “Mr. Trump not only met with the instructors and professors who designed the course, but also contributed to the curriculum.” Met with them. For how long? And “meeting with them” is a lot different from being involved in the process of choosing them.

23 Responses to “Trump University, last February”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    10, 9, 8, 7…

    Neo, the one entertaining aspect of this whole mess is speculating on how long it will take for the Trump apologists to respond, and which tired rhetoric they will trot out. However, I fear that we will find the price of admission to that show was much too steep; although the true cost will be deferred until after January 2017.

    As I said, a rational person who was contemplating running in a national election campaign, would have settled this thing early on. The fact that Trump would not do so, along with his totally vindictive response, reveals much that we need to know.

  2. KLSmith Says:

    OT but have you read Sean Trende’s article today at RCP?

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    KLSmith:

    I just took a look. I don’t ordinarily read Twitter, so I can’t speak to his observations of what is going on there, but on blogs I certainly see lots of people saying that Trump could win. In fact, I just had upgraded my own estimates of his chances. So my observations differ from Trende’s. Also, I see plenty of people (such as me!) discussing the facts of the Trump U. case. RedState has covered it in some depth.

    Maybe Trende should read more widely 🙂 .

  4. Eric Says:

    With both candidates leading with the argument that the other candidate is worse, an insurgent 3rd candidate can ride the argument that they’re both worse, sort of a variation of the Trump strategy in the GOP primary race.

  5. junior Says:

    Oldflyer –

    As I said, a rational person who was contemplating running in a national election campaign, would have settled this thing early on. The fact that Trump would not do so, along with his totally vindictive response, reveals much that we need to know.
    ——————-

    There are hints that Trump never thought his campaign would get very far. The complete and total lack of campaign apparatus in most states is something that makes sense if you don’t think Trump took his campaign seriously. So is the lack of donors (which from what I hear is causing the RNC problems as an overly large amount of money will need to be provided to Trump’s presidential campaign instead of down ballot races).

  6. Matt_SE Says:

    There’s not going to be any 3rd party victor in November, Eric. The media will annihilate Trump in every way possible while giving Hillary the kind of fawning, outright dishonest attention that would make whores blush.

    The average American voter, being stupid and gullible, will fall for it and wonder how they ever thought they could vote for Trump.

    All of it, just like Bill and Hillary planned.

  7. parker Says:

    Matt_SE,

    I am of the same opinion.

  8. Frog Says:

    parker,
    as am I.

  9. Frog Says:

    On reading Neo’s piece above, I have difficulty differentiating Trump from any public or private university president in this day and age. Those people are additionally obsequious in the extreme to Political Correctness.

  10. parker Says:

    junior,

    I agree that djt at first did not expect to catch fire. But lack of forethought on building a ground game seems to be a trademark of the donald, at least when it comes to politics, and Trump U. He relies on celebrity status, bombast, and being plain nasty. Hrc is a vile human being, so is djt. No thanks, I vote neither even as I know I am making a futile choice. What counts is what happens down ticket. Both the shrew queen and the donald as POTUS must be faced with gop/gope majorities in the house and senate. We are on thin ice.

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    By the way, in a related story, Powerlineblog has a post this morning about William Jefferson Clinton’s honorarium of $16.5 million over four years as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate University. To make it even juicer, HRC’s State Department funneled $55Mil of our money to said University during the period of his tenure. I have no information as to the purported justification. Finally, there was a class action law suit against Slick Willy U similar to the one against TU (dismissed for unknown reasons).

    Somehow the media apparently missed all of this.

  12. Ann Says:

    Oldflyer:

    Thanks for that information on Laureate University — had never heard of it. Jonathan Turley has also posted a piece on it.

    We should not have to choose between these two corrupt, power-mad individuals, and there must be millions of voters who share that sentiment. I think Eric is right — “an insurgent 3rd candidate can ride the argument that they’re both worse”.

  13. junior Says:

    If Sanders decides to make an independent bid, that will undoubtedly be his argument.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Trump’s guilt’ is obvious, clearly his lack of character makes him unfit for the Presidency. That said, to focus upon and insist that the thief/conman is as bad as the traitor is to reach a new low in disordered priorities. On the left, the more astute are delighted, if astonished, that many on the right are far more concerned with Trump’s unfitness, than they are with the approach of the onrushing collective.

    “9th Circuit: Americans Have No Right To Concealed Carry A Gun Outside Home”

    Since “open carry” of a gun is anathema to liberal jurists, the 9th circuit barring concealed carry, effectively declares that citizen’s have no right to defend themselves from a mortal threat outside the home. Remember former AG Holder’s reprimand, you have a ‘duty’ to retreat…

  15. junior Says:

    Ironically, my understanding is that California is *not* a “duty to retreat” state – a hold-over from quite a while back when people on the West Coast understood the importance of self-defense. Of course, how exactly you’re going to survive your decision to not retreat isn’t something that the esteemed jurists need to concern themselves with.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    junior,

    As the Attorney General, Holder was presumably speaking to the nation. Recalcitrant states will be brought to heel, never fear.

  17. Ann Says:

    Informative article here on the duty to retreat. Interesting that stand your ground laws are bringing U.S. states closer in line with European countries’ approach to the matter.

  18. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    June 9th, 2016 at 5:44 pm
    By the way, in a related story, Powerlineblog has a post this morning about William Jefferson Clinton’s honorarium of $16.5 million over four years as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate University. To make it even juicer, HRC’s State Department funneled $55Mil of our money to said University during the period of his tenure. I have no information as to the purported justification. Finally, there was a class action law suit against Slick Willy U similar to the one against TU (dismissed for unknown reasons).

    Somehow the media apparently missed all of this.
    ***
    Beat me to it.
    Amazing how the media can miss things they don’t want to see — or don’t want us to see —
    With Republicans, they are just saving the goodies until later, for maximum damage impact.
    With Democrats, they throw everything down the memory hole.

  19. OM Says:

    So the ninth circus is paving the way (Yellow Brick Road) for the Supremes to rule again on the Second Amendment. How will they square disallowing concealed carry with states that allow open carry (TX, AZ) for example?

    But Article V is too scary to consider. Right.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ann,

    The mindset of the lawbreaker sees retreat as an invitation to further aggression. Retreat increases criminality.

    OM,

    If there is no 2nd amendment right to concealed carry, there cannot be a right to open carry. Thus the states that currently allow open carry will, by that ruling, have instituted ‘unconstitutional’ laws.

    As criminals can always gain access to guns, denying law abiding citizens the right to carry a gun outside the hole effectively denies the right to self-defense. The day that SCOTUS rules that I haven’t a right to self-defense, they have ruled that I haven’t a right to life and on that day, I will fully support the call for an Article V convention. In such a case, my misgivings will remain but the path to tyranny will undeniably be on the horizon.

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” – Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764

  21. OM Says:

    GB:

    Some may differ. Texans seem to follow the Molon Labe rule in my understanding.

    By the time your hypothetical arrives it will be too late. Your counter argument is going to be “it’s already too late.” Article V too scary to try, or impossible to succeed, or ….

  22. parker Says:

    GB,

    I have a concealed carry permit, its called the Second Amendment. If I wish to carry I carry. Mostly I carry concealed when I visit our daughter and her family in Chicago. At home I currently feel no need to carry, but that may change, yet I hope not.

  23. junior Says:

    GB –

    If there is no 2nd amendment right to concealed carry, there cannot be a right to open carry. Thus the states that currently allow open carry will, by that ruling, have instituted ‘unconstitutional’ laws.
    ————————-

    ?

    The fact that the court rules that there’s no constitutional right to do something doesn’t mean that a state can’t act on its own to grant that right. A ruling that Open Carry is not constitutional doesn’t actually ban Open Carry. It means that legislatures can pass laws that do. So long as the Federal government stays out of the issue, then Texas will (for the foreseeable future) remain a state with Open Carry regardless of what the US Supreme Court rules on the issue. It’s only if Congress decides to pass a law banning it that Texans would be blocked from open carrying.

About Me

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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