It turns out that Donald Trump had a hand in personally developing the marketing strategy and ads for his fraudulent Trump University. Trump vetted potential ads, was involved in discussions around them, and signed off “any time we had a new ad,” according to sworn testimony in a lawsuit concerning the for-profit real-estate school.
Plaintiffs have said the marketing was misleading. The testimony has been made public as part of an order Friday from U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. A request by The Washington Post claimed the public has a right to learn about a business—especially one under investigation—run by a potential president.
Michael Sexton, Trump University’s president, said in the 2012 deposition: “Mr. Trump understandably is protective of his brand and very protective of his image and how he’s portrayed. And he wanted to see how his brand and image were portrayed in Trump University marketing materials. And he had very good and substantive input as well.”
In the records released Tuesday, employees describe Trump University as a scam. Unearthed company manuals—or “playbooks”—revealed that staff members were told to aggressively steer particularly vulnerable customers toward expensive courses.
From the Wall Street Journal, “Jason Nicholas, another witness for the plaintiffs who worked as a sales associate for five months in 2007, also said he was appalled by what went on at the university. “They were unqualified people posing as Donald Trump’s ’right-hand men,’” he wrote. “They were teaching methods that were unethical, and they had had little to no experience flipping properties or doing real estate deals. It was a facade, a total lie.”
But of course, none of this will sway Trump’s voters.
Potential students were told to open as many credit cards as possible to pay for courses that cost as much at $35,000 each. The courses would “teach you better than the best business school,” according to the transcripts.