Full Hot-Mic Video from Donald Trump's 2015 Fraud Case Deposition - 2020-08-27
On December 10, 2015, Donald Trump took time off from campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination to spend about seven hours sitting for a videotaped deposition in a lawsuit alleging that he and his Trump University had defrauded people who had spent thousands of dollars to learn the secrets of his financial success. Presumably unbeknown to the future president or his lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, the camera kept rolling during a break in proceedings. For 13 minutes, Trump and Petrocelli discussed the case, and Trump can be heard boasting that he threatened the Better Business Bureau into giving Trump University an A rating and grousing about the federal judge overseeing the case (and perhaps considering a racist attack on that judge). The video recording of this session was sealed by the judge, but Mother Jones has obtained a hot-mic recording of this conversation between Trump and Petrocelli.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump faced three lawsuits accusing him and Trump University—which was not accredited as a university—of hoodwinking students who had doled out between $1,495 and $34,995 for real estate seminars. Trump had personally promoted this endeavor and vouched for the instructors ("handpicked by me"). Trump claimed the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, was biased against him and called him "a hater of Donald Trump" who "happens to be, we believe, Mexican." (Curiel was born in Indiana.) Trump vowed that he would never settle the cases. But shortly after the election, he did just that, agreeing to pay $25 million, without admitting wrongdoing.