ALBANY — Put the music on “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays. Keep the room temperature at a maximum 68 degrees. Create a sense of urgency to enroll students as quickly as possible. And if an attorney general shows up at a Trump University seminar, contact a senior staffer immediately.
Those are among the instructions embedded in the “Trump University Playbook,” one of a number of documents that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has fought to keep sealed in several legal cases alleging that his education courses were shams.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who is leading one of several lawsuits against Trump University, applauded the release of documents Tuesday.
“You’re not allowed to protect the trade secrets of a three-card monte game,” Schneiderman said on CNN. “You’re not allowed to protect the trade secrets of conducting a fraud.”
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.
A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Friday ordered the documents released — prompting Trump to the call the judge a “hater” and describe him as a Mexican even though Curiel was born in Indiana.
“What happens is the judge, who happens to be — we believe — Mexican. Which is great. I think that’s fine,” Trump said during a campaign stop in San Diego.
Trump also called Schneiderman “dopey” and said he would win the various lawsuits against Trump University.
Former students at Trump University accuse Trump and his school of using misleading advertising to dupe 5,000 individuals — 600 of them New Yorkers — to pay up to $35,000 for seminars and mentorships through the unlicensed, unaccredited “university.” Trump has said most students were satisfied and contended the lawsuits were politically motivated.
Cases against Trump are proceeding in California and New York — here, the $40 million lawsuit could come to trial in November.
The “playbook” contains advice and tidbits for “closing” the sale with students, including how to assuage concerns about possibly going into debt to pay for courses, how to talk to a skeptical spouse about the value of the courses and how to take photos that will be part of the pitch.
It tells employees to identify “buyers” by determining students’ assets and ranking them in descending order.
“Once you have the completed profiles, the team should go through each profile and determine who has the most and least liquid assets and rank them,” listing first those who have at least $35,000 in liquid assets not counting “401(k)s and IRAs.”