Donald Trump's Record of Business Failures and Bluster

Trump earns support from Americans who think he has a Midas touch and will use his business skills to fix the mess President Obama has created. But a closer look at Trump’s record reveals his success story is just that -- a story. How many of his supporters know about Trump University? Trump Air? Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, Trump ties, or the United States Football League?

Trump's business history reveals someone skilled at making money at the expense of other Americans while his businesses fail, and a man who will say almost anything about these failures. And his legacy of business failures goes beyond the four bankruptcies of his Atlantic City casinos. It includes outsourcing jobs to China, ripping off students seeking an education, and leaving a path of devastated Americans in his wake.

Just ask Louis Piatt. He put his faith in Donald Trump before he concluded Trump University was a worthless scam. Trump University was an unaccredited program that was supposed to teach ordinary Americans how to hit the big time in real estate.

Professor Donald supposedly would offer personal lessons on how to make money. In a perverse way, Trump did. Trump University made money by fleecing regular Americans who saved and paid tens of thousands of dollars in tuition before it vanished. Trump University taught a harsh lesson in grifting.

What of Trump’s skill at "getting things done"? When it came to Trump University, it was mostly bluster. Trump used his personal brand to separate middle class Americans from their money. One pitch about the faculty from Dean Donald went like this:

And honestly, if you don’t learn from them, if you don’t learn from me, if you don’t learn from the people that we’re going to be putting forward, and these are all people handpicked by me, then you’re just not going to make it in terms of world-class success.

Trump University collapsed in a blizzard of lawsuits in 2010, and in 2013 the New York attorney general sued Trump University for $40 million for allegedly defrauding students.

Did you ever try Trump Vodka? Not many did. It was another Trump failure. But Trump boasted it would become the most requested drink in America, surpassed only by the Trump Martini. The marketing campaign was even more ridiculous in hindsight -- the vodka was the “epitome of vodka and would demand the same respect and inspire the same awe as the international legacy and brand of Donald Trump himself.”

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