There’s a reason Donald Trump earned the nickname “Don the Con.”
As you’re probably aware, Trump University is a now defunct online instructional program co-founded in 2005 by Donald Trump.
According to the Associated Press, Trump University told its employees just how to encourage people to enroll in its classes by preying on people’s hopes of attaining the American Dream. By using sketchy sales gimmicks and shady language, ranging from flattering words to song lyrics such as The O’Jays’ “For the Love of Money,” employees insinuated promises of acquiring financial success by enrolling in educational seminars from the so-called “University.”
In light of Trump University customers who came forward claiming that they had been defrauded, a U.S. District Judge named Gonzalo Curiel unsealed official Trump University documents. Curiel ruled in favor of attorneys for The Washington Post who maintained that the public had the right to know about the information previously kept under wraps.
According to the now publicly accessible Trump University playbook, the role of employees was as follows:
‘The motivation that they experienced can die quickly as the realities of their daily lives take over. It is our job to rekindle that motivation … to make them once again see the potential of achieving their dream.’
Proof that the business intended to prey upon people’s emotions and desires for economic prosperity, the playbook further detailed:
‘The words ‘I noticed’ have a powerful subconscious effect on people because they send a subliminal message to them that they stood out in the crowd, that they are attractive or charismatic or that they impressed you.’
‘People love recognition and attention.’
‘You don’t sell products, benefits or solutions — you sell feelings.’
Trump University specifically sought after male clientele between the ages of 40 and 54 with annual incomes of at least $90,000. Most of said clients had a college education and a net worth of over $200,000.
‘If they complain about the price, remind them that Trump is the BEST!! This is the last real estate investment they will ever need to make.’
Although Trump University doesn’t exist anymore, it’s blatantly obvious that it was a scam intended to make none other than Donald Trump even more money.
And just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, it does. Not only did the institution prey on upper-middle class men, it also sought after students, alluding to the idea that it was a legitimate academic institution.
With courses beginning at $1,495 and ranging up to $34,995, the playbook outlined the following sales tips for Trump University employees:
‘Money is never a reason for not enrolling in Trump University; if they really believe in you and your product, they will find the money. You are not doing any favor [sic] by letting someone use lack of money as an excuse.’
Ronald Schnackenberg is a former sales manager at Trump University who testified that he’d been “reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class,” according to the New York Times.
The following is an excerpt from his testimony:
‘I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme.’
‘It preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.’
At a rally in San Diego on Friday, Trump said the judge was a “hater of Donald Trump” and “hostile,” before going on to reference his ethnicity, as if it somehow had anything to do with his ruling.
“The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine,” Trump said of Curiel, who, as The Associated Press notes, was born in the U.S.
It was the second time Trump referenced the judge’s ethnicity in regards to the Trump University case.