John Oliver Draws Horrifying Parallel Between the Way Trump Scammed His University Students and His Presidential Campaign
In his latest segment, "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver looked back on the lessons of Trump University for insight into why it cost Trump $25 million in a lawsuit settled this month.
"We actually looked into his university when we did our big piece on Trump back in February and it wound up on this very long list of awful Donald Trump stories that we literally didn't have time to delve into, even in a 22-minute piece," Oliver explained. "But once we started reading through these new documents, we figured, aw, f*ck it, let's take some time to talk about it now."
In 2005, Donald Trump started the now-defunct university with broad claims, much like his presidential campaign.
"At Trump University, we teach success," Trump said in the school's first ad spot. "That's what it's all about, success."
"It's going to happen to you," Trump promised. "If you don't learn from the people that we're going to be putting forward, and these are all people that are handpicked by me, then, uh, you're just not gonna make it."
But Trump University's classic bait-and-switch scheme was rooted in the fact that it was not even a university.
"Holy sh*t," Oliver exclaimed. "What the f*ck was in Trump steaks?" he wondered. "Oh god, it was possum, wasn't it?"
Not only did Trump not handpick the instructors, many of them had no experience in the real estate market.
"Even a former member of Trump's own sales staff testified that it was, among other things, a joke, a facade, and was just selling false hopes and lies," Oliver revealed.
The "Last Week Tonight" team also obtained the official Trump University playbook of sales tactics for upselling students—or "buyers."
They included advice (full of typos) such as, "If a client is adamant about knowing the price, simply say, 'Our courses range anywhere from $29 to $35,000,'" as Oliver explained. "And if prospects seemed at all wary, there was advice for dealing with that."
"You must be very aggressive," a passage from the playbook reads. "If they complain about the price, remind them that Trump is the best."
Despite Trump University failing its students and costing the president-elect millions, the school's playbook wasn't completely useless.
"You might laugh, but that is the same technique that Trump has been using to run for president, and apparently, it f*cking works!" Oliver lamented.