Trump University looks and quacks like a duck

I’ve reviewed a copy of the 2010 Trump University Playbook and it certainly looks like a scam to me. The principle objective identified in the 172-page playbook is to classify the attendees into 1 of 4 categories based on the amount of liquid assets they have at their disposal. The categories are set forth on page 36.

1. Greater than $35 K;
2. Between $20 K and $30 K;
3. Greater than $10 K; and
4. Greater than $2 K.

The target group is the 1st category, which they call the Gold Elite Group.

With one important exception, the rest of the playbook is a detailed how-to manual regarding procedures like scheduling conferences, setting up conference rooms and submitting bills seeking reimbursement for expenses.

The exception is a recommended set of strategies to employ in convincing people in the Gold Elite Group to signup for advanced conferences where the strictly hush-hush mystical goodies will be revealed to the worthy initiates.

Yes, indeed, you would be correct if you guessed that the advanced level conferences cost lots of money. From $1,500 to the super special $35,000 conference where Trump himself will disclose the mystical goodies.

Speaker subject matter is tightly controlled. For example, the playbook warns them to use only the approved course materials and illustrative slide shows when lecturing to the students. No variation is permitted and anecdotal stories are prohibited without prior approval. The absence of room to move suggests that no special expertise is required to give a lecture.

My suspicions deepened when I reviewed carefully scripted responses in the playbook to frequently asked questions. No variation from the scripted responses was permitted. If a student asked a question that was not on the list, the playbook recommended segues to steer the student to a scripted answer. I got the impression that a pleasant voice, a smiling face and an ability to read slides were the only prerequisites to be a speaker.

Guidelines are provided for dealing with disruptive students, reporters and inquisitive attorney generals.

Separating a student from his or her money appears to have been the prime directive.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

15 Responses to Trump University looks and quacks like a duck

  1. Two sides to a story says:

    The good news is, if you live in a state with a primary on June 7, you can still vote for Bernie! We’re pushing hard for him here in Cali, and there truly could be a major upset for HRC. #StillSanders

    Another piece of good news – I have a Republican sibling who isn’t voting for Trump in the primary or in the general election. There are many souls just like him.

    • gblock says:

      Bernie could take California, but Hillary would still get some of the California delegates. It would be nearly impossible for Bernie to take enough delegates to get the nomination.

  2. girlp says:

    If Trump…God Forbid… makes it to the White House what are the chances he will be impeached before he makes it to year 2 or is imprisoned.

  3. girlp says:

    One of Trumps possible motives for running for POTUS.

    Yuggggge Ego. I hope he doesn’t get away with the Trump U RICO scheme.

  4. Gloria Ross says:

    Thank you for writing about Trump’s life of fraud. I have been extremely frustrated at the lack of coverage of Trump “university.”

  5. Malisha says:

    I frankly can’t see that Trump has done anything BUT scam in his LIFE. The reason his scams succeed is that they are glittery and turkeys respond well to glitter. This is also what a Trump presidency will (Oh God I Hope NOT) be: uncontrollable immensely powerful hateful fascist glitter. Albert Speer style Americanized bullshit glitter.

  6. William Walton says:

    Trump U is a scam. Trump as President would be a disaster. After what he had said to downgrade Mexican and others it would be hard to believe how he would treat other world leaders. He is out of control because he feels he rules all. Reminds me of my daughter while a graduate student TA teaching “Dumbed Down Chemistry” to Nursing Students had one student define mole as “furry little animal that burrows in the ground”. She wanted to flunk her but her advising professor passed her stating ” We Need Nurses! Thus, this is what it appears the voters for Trump are saying, “We need a president no matter how incompetent he is to tell the rest of the world what to do because we need someone to show the rest of the world that we are strong. What Bullshit!

  7. Much love, says:

    Just hearing that the Judge has ordered release of “internal” docs from the TU…..Nice. RevBev Hope all is well.

    • Yes. The order applies to approximately 1,000 pages, including the TU playbooks used in 2009 and 2010. I linked to a copy of the 2010 playbook that Politico somehow obtained and posted at their site.

      I’m interested in the identities and qualifications of the ‘experts’ who conducted the seminars. I’ll bet they weren’t experts. Trump admitted in his deposition that he did not choose them, even though the literature stated that he selected the best of the best. They were hired as independent contractors, not employees. That meant TU was not obliged to provide bennies, like health insurance. They were probably paid a flat fee per lecture.

      I think I’ll cross post my article at Late Night.

      Much love.

  8. Hello everyone. I hope you are having a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. We’re both doing well.

    I maxed out on frustration, anxiety and distress regarding the Trump insanity, Republican insanity and Bernie coming up short, so I took a break.

    I started a couple of projects: a memoir and a novel.

    The Trump University is as brazen a scheme as I’ve seen in a long time. It motivated me to write this article.

  9. ed nelson says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Education Fredrick.

    I’m no fan of education, in general, I see many flaws, know too much too.

    But these scams of fake universities are really awful.

    Real Uneversities are bad enough!

    I liked what Professor John T. Gatto says about education in his book: ”Dumbing Us Down”…

    And that is about the authentic side of Education… not the scams, that are going strong…

    I saw on advertised last night about going to this school here in the Bay Area, to learn how to be a jet air plane mechanic…!

    Don’t you think the military could supply that market?

    Ya know, education today is mainly about day care for the unwanted brats from K through 12!

    There was a time when the brats were needed to provide on the farm labor… and then send them to Chicago etc. to ”work”, and mail the $ back to keep the fam in grits etc….

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