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Why the Trump University debacle is exactly what his fan base needs to finally understand he’s a predator

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After getting pushed around by Donald Trump for the better part of a primary season, Florida senator Marco Rubio finally landed a clean shot during Thursday night’s CNN/Telemundo debate, taking aim at the billionaire’s notorious real estate seminars, dubiously called Trump University.

“A fake university,” Rubio said with a smirk. “And you know what they got, they got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump. That’s what they got for $36,000.”

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Three ongoing multimillion-dollar lawsuits against Trump University and its namesake have been going through the courts for years, but as Trump comes closer to the nomination, the scandal is resurfacing both in court and in the GOP primary. The suits focus mainly on the deceptive marketing tactics and false promises of Trump U that left many of the plantiffs tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

In court filings last Friday, lawyers in one of the civil suits named Trump as one of their witnesses, meaning the candidate will be cross-examined and the problem will almost certainly become a major campaign issue. No trial date has been set for the suit, but Yahoo News reports it will be “moving forward” soon.

Rubio isn’t the only one hammering the issue. Texas senator Ted Cruz, third in the polls behind Rubio and Trump, has been bringing it up more as of late, telling an audience in Houston, Texas, “It’s a fraud case. I want you to think that if this man is the nominee, having the Republican nominee on the stand in court being cross-examined about whether he committed fraud: you don’t think the mainstream media won’t go crazy on that?”

The university was, of course, anything but. It existed mainly in the form of obscenely expensive real estate seminars, CDs and DVDs. It had no classes, teachers or buildings. The scam had to eventually change its name to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, after New York state education regulators objected to the use of the term “university.” Gawker quoted New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

“No one, no matter how rich or famous they are, has a right to scam hardworking New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable.” The attorney general said that Trump appeared in advertisements making “false promises” that persuaded more than 5,000 people around the country, including 600 New Yorkers, “to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.”

As ThinkProgress notes, Rubio doesn’t have much moral high ground on the issue, having written a letter to the U.S. Department of Education in 2014 asking for leniency for price-gouging for-profit Corinthian Colleges. But Trump’s case is certainly a step worse. His so-called university wasn’t just a sleazy marketing racket that sold a fraudulent product to the credulous masses; it was based on a Ponzi-like system of increased payment for rewards that almost never came to be — and all without even a degree to show for it.

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Is this finally going to be the issue that chips into Trump’s populist image, and thus his lead? If the average voter knew Trump had made millions off the backs of the vulnerable, would he care? Thus far, Trump has been impervious to slandering veterans, Mexicans, Muslims, Fox News and every single major GOP figure. Perhaps his exploitation of the very entrepreneurial, aspirational class he is supposed to champion and embody will finally be his undoing.


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The White House is now ‘furiously backpedaling’ after promoting gun background check legislation

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Will President Donald Trump support background checks on firearms sales? At this point, it’s not even clear if the White House has enough internal coherence to claim he even has any position at all on the matter.

News broke Wednesday morning, originally from the conservative Daily Caller reporter Amber Athey, that White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland, along with Attorney General Bill Barr, brought a proposal for expanded background checks modeled off the Manchin-Toomey bill to GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill:

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Did Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump break up over Iran?

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It appears there is trouble in Warhawk paradise if Twitter is any indication.

A Twitter exchange between Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and President Donald Trump are battling over the recent drone strike of the Saudi oil fields. Trump, Graham and the Saudis are all blaming Iran, but Japan said that there is no evidence that it was Iran.

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post noted that Trump and Graham have long been together on foreign policy issues, but something changed when it comes to Iran.

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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

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