Until the election, we're bringing you "The Trump Files," a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.
"We're going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific," Donald Trump once promised potential students at the now-defunct Trump University in a marketing video. "Terrific people. Terrific brains. Successful." And to reassure them, he made a promise: "These are all people that are handpicked by me."
Trump University has been sued for illegal business practices, fraud, and racketeering three times, once by the state of New York and twice by former students in federal courts in California. The school was also investigated and then ceased operations in Texas, where a state regulator claims the probe was dropped for "political reasons"—Trump later gave $35,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott, who was the Texas attorney general during the Trump University investigation. And it turned out that the "terrific" instructors at Trump University turned out to be mostly high-pressure salesmen who pushed attendees to purchase $35,000 Trump University courses, even if it meant calling their banks for a credit limit raise on the spot. The professorial ranks included people with no real estate experience and even a convicted felon. Donald Trump knew none of them.
As investigative reporter David Cay Johnston wrote in his new book, The Making of Donald Trump, Trump admitted during legal proceedings that his claims to have handpicked the faculty were false.
In 2012, when Trump was sued for civil fraud in California, attorney Rachel Jensen read the names of one faculty member after another, displayed photographs of them, and offered video footage of faculty at Trump University "live events." Trump, who complained that this line of questioning was a waste of time, could not identify a single person. "Too many years ago...too many years ago...it's ancient history," he said. Some of these events had taken place fewer than two years earlier.
Jensen finally asked Trump if he could name a single Trump University "live events" instructor. "I don't know the instructors," he replied.
Read the rest of "The Trump Files":
- Trump Files #1: The Time Andrew Dice Clay Thanked Donald for the Hookers
- Trump Files #2: When Donald Tried to Stop Charlie Sheen's Marriage to Brooke Mueller
- Trump Files #3: The Brief Life of the "Trump Chateau for the Indigent"
- Trump Files #4: Donald Thinks Asbestos Fears Are a Mob Conspiracy
- Trump Files #5: Donald's Nuclear Negotiating Fantasy
- Trump Files #6: Donald Wants a Powerball for Spies
- Trump Files #7: Donald Gets An Allowance
- Trump Files #8: The Time He Went Bananas on a Water Cooler
- Trump Files #9: The Great Geico Boycott
- Trump Files #10: Donald Trump, Tax-Hike Crusader
- Trump Files #11: Watch Donald Trump Say He Would Have Done Better as a Black Man
- Trump Files #12: Donald Can't Multiply 17 and 6
- Trump Files #13: Watch Donald Sing the "Green Acres" Theme Song in Overalls
- Trump Files #14: The Time Donald Trump Pulled Over His Limo to Stop a Beating
- Trump Files #15: When Donald Wanted to Help the Clintons Buy Their House
- Trump Files #16: He Once Forced a Small Business to Pay Him Royalties for Using the Word "Trump"
- Trump Files #17: He Dumped Wine on an "Unattractive Reporter"
- Trump Files #18: Behold the Hideous Statue He Wanted to Erect In Manhattan
- Trump Files #19: When Donald Was "Principal for a Day" and Confronted by a Fifth-Grader
- Trump Files #20: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil
- Trump Files #21: When Donald Couldn't Tell the Difference Between Gorbachev and an Impersonator
- Trump Files #22: His Football Team Treated Its Cheerleaders "Like Hookers"
- Trump Files #23: The Trump Files: Donald Tried to Shut Down a Bike Race Named "Rump"
- Trump Files #24: When Donald Called Out Pat Buchanan for Bigotry
- Trump Files #25: Donald's Most Ridiculous Appearance on Howard Stern's Show
- Trump Files #26: How Donald Tricked New York Into Giving Him His First Huge Deal
- Trump Files #27: Donald Told Congress the Reagan Tax Cuts Were Terrible
- Trump Files #28: When Donald Destroyed Historic Art to Build Trump Tower
- Trump Files #29: Donald Wanted to Build an Insane Castle on Madison Avenue
- Trump Files #30: Donald's Near-Death Experience (That He Invented)
- Trump Files #31: When Donald Struck Oil on the Upper West Side
- Trump Files #32: When Donald Massacred Trees in the Trump Tower Lobby
- Trump Files #33: When Donald Demanded Other People Pay for His Overpriced Quarterback
- Trump Files #34: The Time Donald Sued Someone Who Made Fun of Him for $500 Million
- Trump Files #35: Donald Tried to Make His Ghostwriter Pay for His Book Party
- Trump Files #36: Watch Donald Shave a Man's Head on Television
- Trump Files #37: How Donald Helped Make It Harder to Get Football Tickets
- Trump Files #38: Donald Was Curious About His Baby Daughter's Breasts
- Trump Files #39: When Democrats Courted Donald
- Trump Files #40: Watch the Trump Vodka Ad Designed for a Russian Audience
- Trump Files #41: Donald's Cologne Smelled of Jamba Juice and Strip Clubs
- Trump Files #42: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name
- Trump Files #43: Donald Thinks Asbestos Would Have Saved the Twin Towers
- Trump Files #44: Why Donald Threw a Fit Over His "Trump Tree" in Central Park
- Trump Files #45: Watch Trump Endorse Slim Shady for President
- Trump Files #46: The Easiest 13 Cents He Ever Made
- Trump Files #47: The Time Donald Burned a Widow's Mortgage
- Trump Files #48: Donald's Recurring Sex Dreams
- Trump Files #49: Trump's Epic Insult Fight With Ed Koch
- Trump Files #50: Donald Has Some Advice for Citizen Kane
- Trump Files #51: Donald Once Turned Down a Million-Dollar Bet on "Trump: The Game"
- Trump Files #52: When Donald Tried to Shake Down Mike Tyson for $2 Million
- Trump Files #53: Donald and Melania's Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern
- Trump Files #54: Donald's Mega-Yacht Wasn't Big Enough For Him
- Trump Files #55: When Donald Got in a Fight With Martha Stewart
- Trump Files #56: Donald Reenacts an Iconic Scene From Top Gun
- Trump Files #57: How Donald Tried to Hide His Legal Troubles to Get His Casino Approved
- Trump Files #58: Donald's Wall Street Tower Is Filled With Crooks
- Trump Files #59: When Donald Took Revenge by Cutting Off Health Coverage for a Sick Infant