A federal judge has released nearly 400 pages of documents that detail how Trump University employees used aggressive practices to get customers to sign up for more expensive seminars about succeeding in real estate.
The "playbooks'' for the now defunct business owned by the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, include information about how its sales people were told to deliberately mislead potential customers, manipulate their emotions and ignore their concerns.
The release is part of a lawsuit by customers who claim they were defrauded.
At a Tuesday news conference at Trump Tower in New York, Trump continued his recent streak of bashing Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who unsealed the documents.
"He's been a very bad judge ... very, very unfair," Trump said.
He has maintained that customers were overwhelmingly satisfied with the offerings — a point his attorneys repeated after the documents were unsealed. The documents do include testimony from a number of satisfied customers.
Trump University's core customers are identified in the documents as male heads of households between 40 and 54 years old, with annual household incomes of at least $90,000, a college education and a net worth of more than $200,000.
The documents show meticulous attention to details such as seating at seminars. Room temperature should be set no higher than 68 degrees and music should be the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money."
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading one of several lawsuits against Trump University, applauded the release of documents. Schneiderman said Trump “is absolutely shameless” about lying to people to “induce them to his seminars,” which cost upward of $20,000. He said the playbook was a guideline to “dupe” people into paying for more courses.
Trump University faced a handful of legal challenges, as well as scrutiny from the New York Department of Education, before it shut down in 2011.
But Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, releasing reviews from students lauding the courses. He says he won't settle the case because he'll be vindicated in court.