Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Herr Trumpf: "I'm Not A Settler"... He Is A Liar Though


The point of watching Herr's Trumpf's statement above is really to show whomever doesn't already know, that he's either delusional or a bold-faced liar... or both. We'll get to the lies in a moment. But if you've been watching TV as much as Herr Trumpf does, you've seen the "settler" ads he subliminally referenced a couple times in his statement. You noticed, right? "And you know what? The United States should fight back also. We shouldn't just be settlers, we should fight back. And do what's right."

Trumpf seems rattled by the traction that Trump-University-As-Scam seems to be getting. It's starting to become part of the national collective unconscious and sooner or later-- unless he can derail the narrative-- it's going to start penetrating down to news and information bottom feeders (his usually impervious base). Herr Trumpf's claims not withstanding-- and the bold-faced lie in the top video about the Better Business Bureau faxing him a copy of an "A" credit rating-- Trump University's final rating was D-minus. PolitiFact decided to do a full-blown investigation to get to the bottom of the conflicting claims. Predictably, they found Herr Trumpf a liar once again.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s challengers have called him many things; add to that list the charge from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio that Trump is a con man. Rubio's recent attacks have focused on allegations of false marketing by Trump University.

It wasn’t a real university-- and had to change its name to Trump Entrepreneur Institute because of that. It was largely a seminar program that promised to teach its students the real estate secrets that turned Trump into a billionaire. With some participants paying as much as $35,000, the project drew investigations and lawsuits in at least three states.

The university registered as a private company in New York in October 2004 and largely shut down by 2011. When NBC host Chuck Todd raised issues with the university, Trump defended the program, noting that nearly all the students thought it was "great."

"They signed these documents saying, they rated the course, 98 percent approval rating and high marks," Trump said on Meet the Press on Feb. 28, 2016. And he added, "We have an A from the Better Business Bureau."

We went to the Better Business Bureau website and saw that as of today, the Trump Entrepreneur Institute has no rating. The website explained, "This business has no rating because BBB has information indicating it is out of business."

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told us, "When the school was operational it was rated A."

We asked Hicks to document that rating and didn’t hear back.

Katherine Hutt, director of communications for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said that as a matter of policy, they don’t provide any ratings from previous years. But the organization issued a statement that "Over the years, the company’s BBB rating has fluctuated between an A+ and a D-."

We don’t know when the bureau might have given Trump University a top grade, but based on the Internet Archive, the last time the Better Business Bureau gave the university any rating at all was 2010, when it give it a D-minus. That assessment showed up in plenty of news articles.

That year, the New York Daily News reported that "the Better Business Bureau in January slapped a D-minus rating on Trump U., a rating now under review after Trump U. objected."

CBS News said the same thing in an April 21, 2010, article.

And in May, 2011, the New York Times wrote "The Better Business Bureau gave the school a D-minus for 2010, its second-lowest grade, after receiving 23 complaints."

The Washington Post had the same information in May 2011 when it reported that the New York State Attorney General was investigating the Trump Entrepreneur Institute. The Attorney General’s Office did file charges but stumbled on the grounds that the statute of limitations had passed.  The matter is under appeal.

Under the new name Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, ratings ranged from C to B between 2012 and 2014. We found no ratings at all for the past two years.

Our ruling

Trump said about his entrepreneur institute that "we have an ‘A’ from the Better Business Bureau." Literally speaking, that is inaccurate. The Better Business Bureau gives the program no rating today because it’s no longer a going concern.

Trump University had an A at some point. The Better Business Bureau doesn't release details of its past ratings, but it did say Trump's program had ratings that ranged from A+ to D-.

What we do know, from several published reports and archived Web pages, is that the university had a D in 2010 and under its new name, had ratings ranging from C to B, with no ratings after March 2014.

Trump’s claim is literally wrong and also ignores the university’s lower Better Business Bureau scores. We rate it False.

Last night he bragged about Trump Steaks-- a defunct company-- which he claimed was being served at his victory party. The meat at the party came from a Bush Brothers outlet in West Palm Beach. His water company serves branded Trump water in "his" hotels and golf courses, but it's just another scam-- water from Village Springs Water in Willington, Connecticut, where they have a business of slapping anyone's private label on their bottles, which they do for local convenience stores, bar-mitzvahs and for anyone seeking to impress someone into thinking they have their own bottled water. Despite his statements last night, Trump Vodka is long closed down, Trump Magazine is just a fancy sales brochure for the Mar-a-Lago Club, and Trump Airlines in now just Herr Force One.

Puncturing the Trumpf publicity bubble will come into play in a big way as part of the establishment rationale for denying him the nomination in July at the brokered convention where they hope to foist Paul Ryan on the GOP as the "compromise" candidate. Writing for the Washington Post yesterday from the Republican Governors Association meeting in Utah, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa asserted that the establishment's "slow-bleed strategy is risky and hinges on Trump losing Florida, Illinois and Ohio on March 15; wins in all three would set him on track to amass the majority of delegates. Even as some party figures see glimmers of hope that Trump can be overtaken, others believe any stop-Trump efforts could prove futile."

With Ryan hiding coyly behind the curtain, some worry that you can't beat a force of nature like Trumpf with no one-- and "no one" pretty much defines Rubio and Cruz. The modern world is looking very unfriendly to the GOP governors. Utah's Gary Herbert: "We’ve got this Enquirer magazine mentality. We are subject to this reality-TV voyeurism that is taking place. Fast-food headlines, no substance, all flash. The Twitter atmosphere out there, snarky comments on email, Snapchat. Everything is superficial. . . We’ve got to wake up, America."

American ­Future Fund is trying to wake up Florida with a series of ads highlighting the victims of Trump University. Our Principles PAC is on the attack in Florida and plans to run ads in Ohio and Illinois attacking Herr Trumpf as a jobs outsourcer. One of the super-rich Republicans paying for the ads is Randy Kendrick, wife of the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who said she was moved to act by Trump’s provocative rhetoric. "Dictators arose because good people did not stand up and say, 'It’s wrong to scapegoat minorities.'"

Our Principles PAC is the biggest spender against Herr so far and as of March 7 they had deployed $8,438,485 against him. This list of expenditures from the last 2 weeks doesn't look like a winning strategy to me though:

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At 2:21 PM, Blogger David Hart said...

I have run proprietary schools in New York and I actually contacted NYSED when this first appeared. I am sure that others did as well. To operate what would be a private trade school for adults you first need a certificate of occupancy, Use Group 9, Occupancy Group G for the individual floor with that on the face. Most buildings, including modern high rises won't quality. Then you need to be licensed. That is no easy task regardless of whatever juice you think you have. NYSED doesn't give a rat's ass. Moreover, in New York State you cannot call a school a university unless it actually is one and is regionally accredited.

It has been awhile but, to the best of my knowledge, every student is entitled to get back every dime that they paid.


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