Trump University “Stars” Turn Out To Be Just More of Donald Trump’s Marks

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


As you know, several former students at Trump University have claimed that the whole operation was a fraud. Trump’s response has been simple: these are just a few malcontents. Most of Trump U’s students were delighted with the education they got.

Well, funny thing about that. The recently unsealed documents in the class-action suit against Trump U included the names of a bunch of those delighted students. So Brandy Zadrozny of the Daily Beast decided to give them a call. She managed to contact five of them:

“Trump University is some [of] the best money I ever invested,” wrote Ryan Maddings in one of the evaluations for a 3-day Trump University retreat….“It was a lie,” said Maddings, an ex-marine now 32, who told The Daily Beast that he racked up around $45,000 in credit card debt to buy Trump University seminars and products.

….Julie Lord, 51, of New Port Richey, Florida…said she dropped around $80,000 on Trump University seminars, mentorships, and products, but felt like more of “a target” than a student.

…Despite her current claim that she “got burned by Trump U,” in her written evaluation, Lord rated every aspect of the 2008 seminar as “excellent,” adding several plus signs to the maximum 5 rating. “I am so sorry that I did that,” Lord told The Daily Beast after hearing that her positive review is being used as evidence by Trump’s defense. “But they actually coached you.”

The most positive responses Zadrozny managed to get were from one guy who said Trump U was “fine”—though he says he could have learned the same stuff online for free—and another who said she was happy but had never managed to put her Trump U education to any use. What these two have in common is that they managed to avoid the hard sell and ended up spending only a few thousand dollars on Trump U seminars. The folks who got pressured into signing up for the full con, however, seem to pretty routinely feel they were burned. If these are the folks that Trump plans to trot out as defenders of his scam university, he better think twice.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate