Trump University Students Were Pressured to Give Positive Reviews: “It’s absolutely a con”

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

Move along, nothing to see here. It’s all about winning, or something.

Interviews and documents show that employees of Trump University at times applied pressure on students to offer favorable reviews, instructed them to fill out the forms in order to obtain their graduation certificates, and ignored standard practices used to ensure that the surveys were filled out objectively.

“It’s absolutely a con,” said Mr. Guillo, who spent $36,000 on Trump University classes and later requested a refund. “The role of the evaluations were a defense against any legal actions. They anticipated those actions.”

At the same time, students and their lawyers have raised doubts about Mr. Trump’s claim of 98 percent satisfaction. A website set up to defend Trump University,, has published 10,000 student evaluations, but not all of them were from paying students. They include some from the more than 3,000 free guests that paying participants were encouraged to bring to the classes. More than 2,000 other students never made it to the end of their courses — they sought and received refunds before the end of their classes, as company policy allowed, according to court records.

If this scam was so successful, why the need to hastily put up a website defending it?

In an interview, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Daniel M. Petrocelli, said the experience of students who felt manipulated “is not representative of what happened across the board.”

“Folks were not coerced,” he said of the positive evaluations. “It’s completely implausible to suggest that the 10,000 reviews from the students and their guests were the result of pressure or coercion. They gave overwhelmingly positive reviews because they were being honest about their assessment.”

And Michelle Fields wasn’t assaulted by Trump’s campaign manager, right? And for a guy who constantly cites bogus online polls “supporting him” this part is just wonderful:

Mr. Trump has dismissed the criticism that Trump University’s evaluation system encouraged positive reviews. Asked about the lack of anonymity, he said under oath in a January deposition, “I think it’s much better when a student puts their name on it.” Without names, he said, “they don’t mean anything, actually.”

Derpity derp.

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