Defunct school, now facing a lawsuit over claims it was a scam, offered the same kind of braggadocio that has propelled Trumps ascent to the GOP nomination
Long before Donald Trump promised to make America great again, he told people that he could change their lives, provide an answer to their problems and allow them to enjoy everlasting financial security.
The unsealing of hundreds of pages of documents from Trump University, the defunct for-profit school started by Trump in 2005, provides new insight into the workings of the presumptive Republican nominee. It also provides interesting parallels to his rhetoric on the campaign trail.
Trump University, which was shut down in 2010, is currently facing a class action lawsuit in federal court in California, brought by dissatisfied enrollees who claim that the school was a scam. As one former employee testified: Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.
In documents released yesterday in a court order from federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, internal Trump University playbooks revealed how salespeople were encouraged to sign up prospective students to Gold Elite three-day packages for $34,995 each. In a message from Trump, those who signed up were told: Only doers get rich. I know that in these three packed days, you will learn everything to make a million dollars within the next 12 months.
Potential students were subject to high-pressure sales pitches where they were told Your plan is BROKEN and WE WILL help you fix it and encouraged to put the cost of Trump courses on their personal credit cards.
Trumps language on the campaign trail offers less of the sales patter than that of a salesman for his seminar after all, he is only asking for a vote and not making a sale. But it does offer the same promises and assurances that all their problems are easily solvable.
Trumps rhetoric on the trail ranges from building a wall on the Mexican border which will be the greatest wall that youve ever seen to simultaneously offering massive tax cuts. According to Trumps tax plan, individuals making less than $25,000 and married couples making less than $50,000 will pay no taxes and instead simply submit a one-page form to the IRS stating I win. In addition to these tax cuts, Trump would also protect Medicare and social security and make them solvent without cutting entitlement spending.
The secret to these plans and many others, including bringing back manufacturing jobs to the US and bombing the hell out of Isis, is Trumps self-proclaimed ability to make deals. Just as prospective students at Trump University were promised wealth by using a Trump mentor to learn how to invest the Trump way, voters are promised that by supporting Trump instead of politics as usual, they can turn their lives around.
The question still to be answered is whether Republican primary voters will be more satisfied with their decision than Trump University students.