In a new article, David A. Fahrenthold, Joshua Partlow, and Jonathan O'Connell review the Trump U grift and draw parallels to the Trump University debacle and the Trump presidency itself during the pandemic. The virus doesn’t care, and we’ve seen how despite the usual disinformation ploys Trump is on the path to fail.
In this case, Snell said, what Trump promised but cannot provide is not real estate secrets. It is something even harder to deliver — victory against a deadly disease.“The difference this time is the fact that he’s running his game on a virus,” Snell said. “And the virus doesn’t care.”Trump settled three lawsuits against Trump University in 2016, after his election. Trump University paid a total of $25 million but did not admit fault on claims that customers were defrauded by the school. When The Washington Post asked about Trump University recently, the Trump Organization sent a statement that focused on the lawsuits.
In the Trump University case, opposing lawyers said, they learned how to deal with Trump’s eruptions. Ignore them. Keep digging. Let Trump talk to himself.“As difficult as it is, you can’t get distracted with the mudslinging or name-calling,” said Rachel Jensen, one of the attorneys in the California class-action cases. “You have to remain disciplined and focused on the substance. Over time, it pays off.”In Texas, after a months-long investigation relying on undercover agents attending seminars, the attorney general’s office drafted a lawsuit in 2010 seeking $5.4 million in restitution and penalties. “We had the goods on them,” Owens said.But Owens’s bosses did not file the suit. David Morales, then deputy attorney general, said that he spiked the suit without Abbott’s input. “I approved an investigation into this company in Fall 2009 and did not file suit in Spring 2010 due to lack of consumer complaints,” he said in a recent email.In Florida, staffers for then-Attorney General Pamela Bondi (R) also pondered whether to pursue an investigation of Trump University. Bondi’s office chose not to. Around the same time, Bondi received a $25,000 political donation from Trump, made via Trump’s charitable foundation. Bondi’s staff said the donation did not affect its decision.Since then, Bondi and Morales have risen to greater prominence. In 2018, Trump nominated Morales to be a federal judge. And Trump chose Bondi — now out of office — to be one of his attorneys during his impeachment trial earlier this year.
“Reading their work, it seems to me that if you have psychopathic tendencies and are born to a poor family you’re likely to go to prison. If you have psychopathic tendencies and are born to a rich family you’re likely to go to business school.”
— Roxy (@roxyred808) July 25, 2020
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 28, 2020
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2020