A federal judge has granted the Washington Post its request to unseal documents related to Donald Trump’s now-defunct Trump University. The ruling occurred on the same day the presumptive Republican nominee went on a questionable rant against the the judge.
Trump used his usual anti-Mexican rhetoric to attack U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel before the ruling, calling for an investigation of the judge without specifying what the investigation should look into.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater,” Trump shouted like a middle school student at a campaign rally in San Diego. “His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” he continued in an effort to paint the judge as a Latino with an agenda against him. “We’re in front of a hostile judge.”
Trump added that he believed Curiel was Mexican, but Curiel is an American who was born in Indiana.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace,” he continued.
So what exactly does Trump think constitutes as a “total disgrace?” It might be the fact that his so-called “university” scammed students out of as much as $35,000 for an unaccredited “education.” Of course unsealing the documents shines yet another negative light on the Republican nominee and his careless disregard for anyone or anything other than himself and his pocketbook. In fact, Trump is currently facing three separate lawsuits that allege that his shady business defrauded students and broke state laws.
The unsealed documents have already revealed some of the empty promises that Trump made to students, including a one-page personal message he sent to new enrollees.
“Only doers get rich,” the message said. “I know that in these three packed days, you will learn everything to make a million dollars within the next 12 months.
In an infomercial, Trump had claimed that he handpicked the instructors at the university. However, he confessed in a 2012 deposition that he never personally selected anyone.
The state of New York had filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump in August of 2013 due to the illegal business practices and false claims of his school. According to Reuters, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decided to pursue legal action against Trump, accusing him of misleading more than 5,000 people who paid between $1,495 and $35,000 to learn Trump’s real estate investment techniques.
By October of 2014, a New York judge found Trump personally liable for the unlicensed school. In other words, no institution can market or represent itself as a school or university without the required licensing in New York. Laws like these are critical in protecting students so they aren’t mislead into thinking the classes they’re paying large sums of money for are part of a legitimate and accredited college or university.
In a Politico piece titled “I Survived Trump University,” one former student recounts his experience and how people were lured into taking the pricey seminars:
In an almost two-hour routine, he played on the insecurities and fears, hopes and dreams, of his audience. Before the seminar got started, Trump appeared via a brief video, like a capitalist version of Chairman Mao in a Communist China reeducation camp. “You’re going to learn the Trump way to get cash back when you buy a property,” Trump bellowed on the hotel screen. “You’re going to learn the Trump way to build your real estate empire, property by property.”
Trump University later re-branded itself, and now it doesn’t even exist at all. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Trump isn’t still cashing in on scamming students. He’s now involved with another cringe-worthy and unaccredited for-profit college called Legacy Business School, which offers certificates (not to be mistaken for degrees) for as much as $105,000 a year.
It’s incredible to see so many working class and middle class Americans vote for a man who loves to exploit them and their children. But their ignorance of Trump’s true character is demonstrative of the media’s failure.
None of the articles or broadcasts about this story go into detail about why Trump University was an illegal operation. Instead they focus on his xenophobic rhetoric and non-stop cat fights. Trump might have a populist message that resonates with some voters, but the man doesn’t care about any of the people he’s appealing to. The fact that he’s doing so well in this election doesn’t speak highly of our political system, our media, or the electorate.