The Trump University fraud lawsuits will in all likelihood hang over Donald Trump during the general presidential election. But during a Thursday morning appearance on MSNBC, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed Trump tried to make at least one of the fraud cases go away years before he emerged as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
During his campaign, Trump has repeatedly claimed he “never settles” lawsuits against him or his companies. But according to Schneiderman, “Before the complaint was filed [in 2013] there were discussions.”
“He did offer to settle,” Schneiderman continued. “He settles cases all the time.”
The exchange begins at the 5:55 mark of this clip:
But Trump didn’t settle. Earlier this week, unflattering documents detailing exactly how Trump University convinced students to enroll in its real estate classes were made public after a federal court ordered their release.
On MSNBC, Schneiderman said he doesn’t expect any of the three ongoing Trump University fraud cases to go to trial before November’s election, but added “there may be more revelations” between now and then.
Aside from Schneiderman’s comments about the settlement talks he says he had with Trump’s lawyers, ThinkProgress uncovered 13 instances where Trump in fact settled lawsuits as opposed to trying to clear his name in a court of law.
During an earlier Thursday morning appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America, Schneiderman pulled no punches in characterizing Trump University as “a fraud from beginning to end.”
Trump “bilked millions out of money and we’re going to make sure he pays it back,” Schneiderman said.
Trump is pushing back against allegations that Trump University was a fraud. Speaking about the New York lawsuit in March, Trump said he “could have settled and probably still could very, very easily. But I don’t want to settle it because, look, the people that took the course, 98% of those people liked the school.”
Wednesday night, the Trump campaign shared a video on Trump’s social media accounts featuring testimonials from former Trump University students speaking positively about their experiences.
Referring to the lawsuits he’s faced more generally, Trump in March said they’re unavoidable for a businessman such as himself.
“I’m sued all the time and so is every other big business person,” Trump said. “This is why they say if you’re a successful person, you can’t run for political office.”