Trump 2016: The Ultimate Scam
Voters shouldn’t allow Donald Trump to scam them like he scammed the students of Trump University.
By Peter Fenn | Contributor USNews & World Report
June 1, 2016, at 4:45 p.m.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump went off on the press, calling one ABC reporter covering his fundraising for veterans a “sleaze.”
Think about it. Just when Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was being exposed in court documents for conducting one of the sleaziest scams, ripping people off at his so-called university, he tries to turn the tables.
I get the showmanship, the P.T Barnum, the celebrity, but the word “sleaze” drips from Donald “there’s a sucker born every minute” Trump like an oil slick.
The employees of Trump University, in newly released documents, testified that it was “a facade, a total lie”, “a fraudulent scheme and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.” Trump started the operation in 2005 and owned 93 percent of the company, according to the New York Times. He was the pitch-man, the face, the reason people signed up. According to employees of the company and those who were defrauded they were encouraged to max out their credit cards and take out additional ones; one couple was even encouraged to use disability income and take out a home equity loan to pay the $35,000 tuition.
Internal documents revealed the scam’s trade secret: “We teach the technique of using OPM … Other People’s Money.” Now, that sounds like Donald Trump.
The key here is that this is not some isolated incident, some aberration, some operation gone bad bearing the Trump name. This is the way Trump makes money in real estate, steaks, wine, foreign-made garments. This is a pattern of behavior that calls into question whether Trump has any real ethics at all – other than enriching himself and those around him.
If we see his tax returns and his real charitable behavior patterns we will know more. But I suspect that none of that will see the light of day. He knows he’s a “sleaze” and that will govern his decisions regarding transparency. Strange that he attacks the press for doing its job with a term that so clearly applies to him.
Donald Trump has succeeded in one of the greatest con-jobs in all of America’s history – securing the nomination of a major political party for the highest office in the land. Just as Trump University is being revealed as a fraud, I can’t imagine that by November the majority of Americans won’t see through the bluster and the vitriol and reject the sales tactics of a charlatan.