By some measures, the controversy surrounding “Trump University” is a helpful microcosm of a much broader problem. A group of people, impressed by Donald Trump’s purported wealth, rallied behind a high-profile endeavor, only to discover that the rhetoric was hollow and Trump couldn’t deliver on his grandiose promises.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s a parallel between this and the Republican’s presidential campaign.
The difference, of course, is that some of the students who attended the “courses” have a recourse voters lack: they’re suing “Trump University.” The GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee has taken the unorthodox approach of blasting the federal judge in the case while it’s still being litigated.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump railed against the judge in the legal battle over Trump University, telling a large crowd Friday in San Diego, “There should be no trial.”
“We’re in front of a very hostile judge. The judge was appointed by Barack Obama,” Trump told a campaign rally on the same day as a hearing was held in San Diego over his online real estate school, which closed in 2010. “I mean frankly, he should recuse himself because he’s given us ruling after ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative."
He added that he and his team believe U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is “Mexican.” For the record, Curiel is an American born in Indiana.
Regardless, Trump was apparently in high dudgeon because of the latest developments in the case. The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the federal judge “ordered the release of internal Trump University documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the company, including ‘playbooks’ that advised sales personnel how to market high-priced courses on getting rich through real estate.”
Those materials may very well keep the controversy alive, help the litigants claiming the “university” used deceptive business practices, and raise even more doubts about the way in which Trump conducts his business affairs – ostensibly the basis for his White House bid.
As for the underlying controversy, recapping our coverage, the Washington Post reported last fall that the New York Republican was the namesake of a “university,” where students sometimes “max[ed] out their credit cards to pay tens of thousands of dollars for insider knowledge they believed could make them wealthy.”
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