The Better Business Bureau waded into the icky mess that is Trump University on Tuesday. It wanted to clarify the letter grade received by Donald Trump's Excellent Academic Adventure.
All this to-do brings back happy memories for me of the time I attended a Trump University seminar and Trump tried to have me fired.
In last week's Republican debate on Fox News, moderator Megyn Kelly asked about former students suing to get their money back after the BBB gave Trump University a grade of D-minus. Trump countered that his university actually enjoyed an A rating.
Which was it?
The BBB explained in a detailed statement that when Trump University was a going concern, it received a lot of complaints.
"These complaints affected the Trump University BBB rating, which was as low as D- in 2010," it said. "As the company appeared to be winding down, after 2013, no new complaints were reported. Complaints over three years old automatically rolled off of the Business Review.
"As a result, over time, Trump University’s BBB rating went to an A in July 2014 and then to an A+ in January 2015."
In other words, the grade improved only because no one was attending Trump University any more and lodging complaints about the racket.
The BBB also disputed Trump's contention during the debate that the organization had just faxed him proof that Trump University was Grade-A.
"BBB did not send a document of any kind to the Republican debate site last Thursday evening," it said. "The document presented to debate moderators did not come from BBB that night."
It was another example, as Sen. Ted Cruz might say, of Trump having "a tenuous relationship with the truth."
Back in 2007, when I attended that Trump University event, Trump was still seen as a relatively trustworthy fellow.
The free seminar, held at a Pasadena hotel, turned out to be a two-hour sales pitch for a three-day workshop that would cost $1,495. The workshop, I was told, would provide instruction in a variety of techniques for securing distressed properties at below-market prices and then selling them to others for more money.
I pointed out in a subsequent column that it's all too easy for novices to lose their shirts in the foreclosure market. I received numerous emails from people who felt they'd been ripped off by Trump University.
Then I got a call from Trump himself, who told me that my work was "inaccurate and libelous."
I asked what I'd gotten wrong.
"You'll find out in court," Trump replied. He then contacted my boss and said that I'm a "nasty guy" and a third-rate reporter.
Trump wasn't done either. Here's what I wrote about my run-in with the presidential wannabe.
I wear the experience as a badge of honor.
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