Trump University Playbook Unsealed: Encouraged Would-Be Students to Use 'OPM' (Other People's Money)
Playbooks used to market Donald Trump’s now-defunct Trump University were unsealed by court order on Tuesday, showing that the training program’s aggressive sales force promised would-be students they would learn “the technique of using OPM … other people’s money.”
The playbooks, which Trump’s lawyers in a class-action suit by disgruntled former students fought to keep secret, were released Tuesday afternoon by the judge in the case, Gonzalo Curiel. Trump has derided Curiel in recent days as “a hater” and “a Mexican.” Earlier Tuesday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee reiterated his view that the lawsuit is without merit and that Curiel “has been very unfair, he has not done a very good job.”
The almost 400 pages of internal Trump University documents, most of them training manuals for the sales force, were quickly uploaded to the web by the Democrat-leaning American Bridge 21st Century political action committee.
The pro-Hillary Clinton group calling themselves “Correct The Record” said the documents prove that “everything you suspected about Donald Trump.”
In a statement, the group’s president, Brad Woodhouse, said of Trump: “He is a shameful, greedy, in-it-for-himself con man who made money off of manipulating and bullying his ‘students’ into shelling out more and more cash for nothing in return. … the only thing he cares about when it comes to working Americans is how much money he can scam out of them.”
A sales script in the playbooks offers this sample conversation the Trump University sales rep might have with a prospective student: “We teach the technique of using OPM … other people s money.
“Most students who are invited to this program use established lines of credit, like a credit card, utilizing the bank’s money, OPM, to handle their tuition. I’m not talking about tens of thousands of dollars, but on the other hand, not a couple of hundred dollars either.”
The script pushed the use of credit cards and promised students they would work with Trump University experts on how “to become profitable in the shortest amount of time.” And talking points leaned heavily on Trump’s reputation as the billionaire businessman with the Midas touch. One suggestion for an initial sales pitch went like this: “Is everything Donald Trump does the BEST? He wouldn’t put his name on this if it wasn’t right?”
The most expensive “Gold Elite” package of training courses was priced at $34,995 and that included a “3-day in-person field coaching, creative financing retreat, and wealth preservation retreat.”
Among the documents was one passage that may give fodder to critics of Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns as is traditional for presidential candidates.
This passage promised to teach enrolled Trump acolytes how to “take full advantage of tax breaks and other financial shelters, allowing you to maximize your profits.”