The news cycle has driven right past Trump University, but it's time for it to take a right turn and look far more closely at what Donald Trump did to unsuspecting people who paid money from their retirement plans, savings and credit cards to line Trump's pockets while giving them nothing in return.
James Harris, a Trump University "instructor," gave a revealing interview to CNN where he admitted that his primary job was to up-sell unwitting victims on more courses, not to teach them anything.
Harris was the first-tier salesman, the guy who gets people in the door and to take their checkbooks out.
"My job was to present all of the material that they told me to present. And absolutely motivate them to get registered and enrolled into the programs. That's any sales position at any company, that's your job," Harris told CNN.
It was one he was especially good at, and proud of as well.
Credit cards, home equity loans, and 401k withdrawals were all ways "instructors" suggested people could pay for these courses. And of course, it would be an investment!
In one email exchange, which was filed as part of a lawsuit, Harris wrote to a colleague: "I just spoke to Austin and Irene the older retired couple who had to pull the $30k balance for the GOLD AND SHE SAID IT IS DONE and should be in by Mon so that will B another $35K ... We will easily have another $100K hit by Friday. Yahoo!"
His associate responds: "We've always been a dangerous team, brother man!! These peeps don't have a chance against us :)"
This scheme seems like it was pulled right out of the Scientology playbooks. Rope them in, make unreasonable promises, and get them on the "training" ladder, where training can cost them tens of thousands of dollars, all of which goes not to train them, but to line the pocket of the guy who wrote the scam.
Things aren't much different in this political season. Trump is getting them in the door with a nice diet of hate and resentment, and keeping them there by making promises for everything they ever dreamed of their government doing. The wall, the deportations, all of it.
Given the opportunity, he would deliver none of it. But this is the character of the man Republicans are nominating as their candidate to hold the highest office in the land. It couldn't be more cynical.