Trump Campaign Releases a Video Defending Trump University… That is Itself a Scam
Former students put forward by Donald Trump’s campaign to help deflect criticism of his defunct real estate seminars have business ties to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
The campaign posted a web video Wednesday defending Trump University after a federal judge unsealed documents in a long-running lawsuit filed by ex-students who claim they were fleeced. The seminars ended in 2011 amid a flurry of complaints and state fraud investigations.
“The students on this video are representative of the many students who were overwhelmingly satisfied with Trump University,” the campaign said. “Rather than listen to the media spin, listen to the hard-working students who can attest first-hand to the truth about Trump University.”
As we detailed before, Trump University was a massive scam.
This video features three people – none of whom have ever bought or sold real estate for a living. One of them appears to be a professional testimonial-giver for seminars, one appears to give these kinds of seminars for himself, and one of them has an ongoing business and personal relationship with the Trump family, who have allowed him to sell his protein water on a number of their properties.
These are the three people they found, out of the 40,000 people who (allegedly) came through Trump University who could talk about their great experiences.
Notably, not one of these people is currently in the business of buying or selling real estate, or can offer any proof that Trump University made them successful in this endeavor, which is what it was designed to do.
Contrast this with the thousands involved in class-action lawsuits against the now-defunct university.
The first woman featured in the video, one Michelle Gunn, appears to be a professional testimonial giver for these self-help workshop scams:
Not mentioned by the campaign is that the celebrity billionaire previously endorsed a self-help book authored by Gunn’s teenage son, titled “Schooled for Success: How I Plan to Graduate from High School a Millionaire.” A website promoting the book also features a photo of a smiling Houston Gunn posing with Trump in what appears to be the then reality TV star’s Trump Tower office.
Casey Hoban, a Connecticut bottled-water entrepreneur who said he earned “incalculable” profits on real estate deals after attending one of Trump’s two-day courses about a decade ago.
Not disclosed by the campaign is that Hoban is also a Trump family acquaintance whose protein-infused water is stocked at some of Trump’s golf courses, restaurants and resorts.
New York City; trimino protein water served Trump Tower Trump Cafe in lobby. Incredible place. Thk U Trump Family! pic.twitter.com/TeD072LiNi
— Casey Hoban (@CaseyHoban) March 11, 2016
trimino protein water Miami Florida now at Trump National Doral Miami Golf Course "BLUE MONSTER" Thank U Eric Trump pic.twitter.com/txPEOa9D47
— Casey Hoban (@CaseyHoban) February 10, 2016
trimino protein water in Trump Tower Deli NY!
Thank u Eric Trump & Family !
trimino in Texas Health Resources Hosp pic.twitter.com/hhzC2DBkKc
— Casey Hoban (@CaseyHoban) April 21, 2016
Hoban told The Associated Press that his business relationship with the Trump organization bloomed after he attended a charity event held last year held by a Trump family foundation. Trump’s son Eric Trump later tweeted Hoban a personal thank you for his $25,000 donation.
That largesse led to an invitation for Hoban and his family to visit Trump Tower last year for a personal tour of campaign headquarters, where they posed smiling for a photo holding Trump for President placards.
Hoban told the AP that he had only met the Trumps a couple of times and that his budding business relationship with the Trump empire had nothing to do with his offer to the campaign to issue a public endorsement of Trump U.
“Absolutely not, from the bottom of my heart,” Hoban said. “I offered to support Trump University because I did some amazing investments after going to that class. I thought it was a way to tell the world that after going to that class at Trump University I prospered.”
Kent Moyer is not in real estate at all, as his rather detailed website attests. Rather, he seems himself to be involved primarily in selling the kind of “coaching” and “seminars” that are pretty similar on their face to Trump University. Kent Moyer, per his bio, appears to have gone to Wharton.
However upon questioning by AP, Moyer clarified that he had attended two-week executive seminars offered by Wharton and had never been academically enrolled as a student at the university. He does not have a bachelor’s degree.
Even if people find real value in the consulting services that Mr. Moyer provides, he by his own admission has never actually made money selling real estate, which is what Trump University is supposed to teach you how to do.
He is a former Playboy Mansion bodyguard who founded a Beverly Hills, California-based company that specializes in providing security to the wealthy and famous.
Moyer told the AP that he does not recall ever personally meeting Trump, but said he has long admired the flashy businessman. He said he reached out to Trump’s lawyers after reading about class-action lawsuits alleging the program was a scam posing as a real academic institution.
“I had nothing but a great experience with Trump University,” Moyer said. “Everyone knew it wasn’t a real university. … What the video doesn’t talk about is that because of Trump University I ultimately enrolled in 2007 in the Wharton Business School.”
Moyer has often described himself in media appearances and in written materials as an alumnus of the prestigious business school at the University of Pennsylvania, of which Trump and some of his children are graduates.
(Editor’s Note: It’s a short day today so this ‘reality’ section was pieced together from the cited articles and is not our own.)