Apologies for bringing this up again, but I wanted to make sure I put this here for reference.
Maybe I’m naïve, but I think that if more people had been aware of Trump’s “University” Trump would never have won the Republican nomination, let alone been elected. That’s because Trump University was a scam that cheated people, including a lot of old people, out of their money, taking not just their savings but convincing them to go into debt.
They were told that in return for their money they’d learn Donald Trump’s secrets for getting rich in real estate, as taught by what Donald Trump himself falsely claimed were experts he had selected himself. In fact, Trump never even met most of the instructors, many of who had no background in real estate, and what was taught that was factually accurate could have been read in a few library books for free.
John Oliver’s excellent piece on Trump University from late November is more enraging than funny, though it is funny (and in terms of language not safe for work). It starts, incidentally, by citing a USA Today report that Trump’s various businesses have collectively been involved in at least 3,500 lawsuits over three decades. (Businesses do sue and get sued a lot, but egad. And in fact, USA’s estimate of the total number of lawsuits now exceeds 4000, as documented here and here.)
Just before the inauguration Trump three settled lawsuits over Trump University by paying $25 million. (See CNN and Politico for details.) Of course, Trump still claims Trump University was great and the suits were bogus, because Trump pretty much never admits anything.
I mentioned it in June as well, bringing up Josh Marshall’s point that Trump’s ventures into such penny-ante things as Trump University and Trump Steaks seem strange for someone who claims to be so rich and who clearly cares about the value of his brand. Why diminish it if he doesn’t need the money?