Years Before He Launched Trump University, Donald Trump Warned of “Real Estate Evangelists”

If only he’d taken his own advice.

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA

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According to recently unsealed court documents, employees of Donald Trump’s short-lived educational venture, Trump University, believed the program was a “fraudulent scheme” that used aggressive sales tactics to separate people from money they didn’t have and failed to deliver on its promises of financial success. Prospective students were told to pay for the $35,000 enrollment with credit cards, and workers were encouraged to play on students’ emotions to get them to open their wallets.

Trump himself pitched the venture as a way to get rich quick by taking advantage of the housing market. “If you’re not a millionaire by December 2008, you didn’t attend my foreclosure workshop,” he boasted in January that year.

But in his bestselling debut memoir, The Art of the Deal, written some two decades earlier, Trump advised his readers to be cautious of “real estate evangelists” who promise to make you a “millionaire overnight.” “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “life rarely works that way, and most people who try to get rich quick end up going broke instead.”

It was good advice. If only he’d stuck with it.

h/t #NeverTrump stalwart Liam Donovan.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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