Years Before He Launched Trump University, Donald Trump Warned of “Real Estate Evangelists”

If only he’d taken his own advice.

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


According to recently unsealed court documents, employees of Donald Trump’s short-lived educational venture, Trump University, believed the program was a “fraudulent scheme” that used aggressive sales tactics to separate people from money they didn’t have and failed to deliver on its promises of financial success. Prospective students were told to pay for the $35,000 enrollment with credit cards, and workers were encouraged to play on students’ emotions to get them to open their wallets.

Trump himself pitched the venture as a way to get rich quick by taking advantage of the housing market. “If you’re not a millionaire by December 2008, you didn’t attend my foreclosure workshop,” he boasted in January that year.

But in his bestselling debut memoir, The Art of the Deal, written some two decades earlier, Trump advised his readers to be cautious of “real estate evangelists” who promise to make you a “millionaire overnight.” “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “life rarely works that way, and most people who try to get rich quick end up going broke instead.”

It was good advice. If only he’d stuck with it.

h/t #NeverTrump stalwart Liam Donovan.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

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