Trump University To Recruiters: Target Single Parents With Hungry Kids


Lawyers for Donald Trump wanted to keep the records sealed, however, a federal judge has unsealed 381 pages of documents relating to the billionaire candidate’s controversial Trump University for-profit real estate program. The documents are a treasure trove of statements displaying the unsavory practices of the “university.”

“We teach the technique of using OPM … other people’s money,” one sales script reads that was obtained by The Hill. “Most students who are invited to this program use established lines of credit, like a credit card, utilizing the bank’s money, OPM, to handle their tuition. I’m not talking about tens of thousands of dollars, but on the other hand, not a couple of hundred dollars either.”

But it’s worse than that.

Corrine Sommer, an event manager, recalled how her colleagues encouraged students to open up as many credit cards as possible to pay for classes that many of them could not afford, according to the New York Times.

“It’s O.K., just max out your credit card,” Sommer recalled of her colleagues telling prospective students.

The Daily Intelligencer reports:

‘If a cash-strapped applicant said, “I don’t like using my credit cards and going into debt,” the playbook instructed recruiters to respond, “[D]o you like living paycheck to paycheck? … Do you enjoy seeing everyone else but yourself in their dream houses and driving their dreams cars with huge checking accounts? Those people saw an opportunity, and didn’t make excuses, like what you’re doing now.”‘

Sommer recalled that one of the members of the Trump University sales team, who worked previously selling jewelry, was promoted to become an instructor. He had “no real estate experience,” she said.

She added in regards to the instructors, “They were skilled at high-pressure sales.”

Ronald Schnackenberg, a sales manager for the “University” recalled how he was reprimanded for not pushing a cash-strapped couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, even though he believed that it would endanger their economic future.

He said he watched with disgust as a colleague persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.

“I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme,” Mr. Schnackenberg wrote in his testimony, “and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

The practices at Trump University appear to be highly predatory, targeting those who need money for food and/or single mothers who need extra income.

Students were led to believe by Trump that he handpicked the school’s professors. Raise your hand if the following statement sounds familiar:

“We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific people, terrific brains, successful,” Trump said at the time. “We are going to have the best of the best... and these are people that are handpicked by me.” (My bold)

However, one witness on the stand said Trump failed to recognize the name of “a single presenter or teacher at his real estate seminars.” Trump has admitted in depositions that he was not familiar with the names of any of those instructors at the school and did not help to select them. Students at the school say they learned “nothing.”

The university appears to have exploited financially insecure people, people with children, the elderly and single mothers, simply to make a sale, while selling a lie. Up to $35,000 was paid by students to attend the school. One man who paid that fee said the university promised to give secret business information to students. What he got was advice on taxes. For tax-related problems, go to, he was told.

Featured image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, allowable under Creative Commons license.