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Bad news for Trump: Federal judge says suit against his ‘university’ can move forward

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A U.S. judge on Tuesday rejected Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s pretrial bid to win a lawsuit brought by Trump University students who said they were defrauded into signing up for its real-estate seminars.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said in a written ruling that there was a “genuine issue of material fact” as to whether Trump knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud the students.

Curiel said there was extensive evidence Trump had not personally met, interviewed or selected Trump University instructors, though he represented they had been handpicked.

In a July 22 hearing, Curiel tentatively denied the bid by Trump to dismiss the lawsuit in California, one of three over the defunct Trump University venture.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the 2013 lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California should be dismissed because the New York real estate mogul, though personally involved in developing the concept and curriculum, relied on others to manage Trump University by the time the plaintiffs purchased seminars.

Trump’s lawyers claimed that references in marketing materials to “secrets,” “hand-picked” instructors or “university” were sales “puffery” and there was no evidence Trump intended to defraud students.

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(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Sandra Maler and Richard Chang)

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‘Disillusioned’ Trump megadonors have completely bailed on his 2020 campaign: report

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The billionaire Mercer family was one of President Donald Trump's biggest financial benefactors in 2016 -- but they appear to have completely withdrawn from political spending for the president's reelection bid.

Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reports that hedge-fund tycoon Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer are "disillusioned" and have all but disappeared from the political scene as the president is gearing up his 2020 campaign.

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‘Expect the worst’ as Trump doubles down on racist rhetoric to rile up his base: columnist

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In a column for the Daily Beast, commentator and Sirius radio host Dean Obeidallah claims that all signs point to Donald Trump doubling down on racist rhetoric in an effort to rally his base as his internal polling shows him losing the key states that propelled him to the White House.

As Trump officially launches his re-election bid in Orlando on Tuesday night, Obeidallah notes Trump is falling back on what helped him appeal to disgruntled white workers in the Midwest and that he will likely ramp up attacks on undocumented immigrants -- including official actions.

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2020 Election

‘It can be hacked’: Election experts already see red flags in the Democrats’ 2020 nomination process

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The Democratic National Committee may reverse course on its plans to increase participation in 2020 presidential caucus states by offering off-site voting options—starting with telephone voting in Iowa and possibly online voting in other states.

That prospect of a reversal, at least in the early nominating caucuses, stems from growing concerns in top party circles about protecting the “integrity of the process” in a post-2016 climate, said James Roosevelt III, co-chair of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.

“It is entirely possible,” said Roosevelt. “The committee is going to be looking to be convinced that it will work. I think the committee is subject to competing pressures. One is to honor Iowa’s commitment to participatory democracy. And the other is to a heightened sensitivity that did not exist four or certainly eight years ago to the integrity of the process.”

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