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Consumer Confidential: Sadly, no one will get to testify on alleged fraud committed by Trump University

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

The event turned out to be nothing more than a two-hour sales pitch for a three-day workshop costing nearly $1,500. The "priceless information" promised in ads for the event consisted of little more than "buy low, sell high."

Trump called me the day my column ran and said he was going to sue me for the "inaccurate and libelous" things I'd written. He also contacted my editor to say that I'm a "nasty guy" and "a third-rate reporter," and that the Los Angeles Times should fire me.

No lawsuit was filed by the future president. My editor, declaring me at least a second-rate reporter, kept me on the job.

Trump did himself no favors by stating in 2016 that the U.S. district court judge hearing the Trump University case, Gonzalo Curiel, couldn't be impartial because of his Mexican heritage. Curiel was born in Indiana in 1953.

I interviewed Trump prior to attending the 2007 seminar, after I'd seen an ad for the event quoting him as saying that "investors nationwide are making millions in foreclosures ... and so can you!"

"I'm going to give you 2 hours of access to one of my amazing instructors AND priceless information ... all for FREE," it said.

--Sponsored Video--

Trump told me the real estate market represented almost limitless opportunity for a real go-getter.

"One of the things a person has to have is instinct," he said. "There are people who can't handle the pressure, who don't have the capacity."

A wave of foreclosures was sweeping the U.S. housing market at the time. Lenders had recklessly gone heavy into subprime mortgages, which would precipitate a crisis in the financial services industry and usher in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

"These are great times," Trump told me. "There are unbelievable opportunities for making money."

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