Donald Trump
Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

This is your occasional reminder that the president of the United States is a fraudster:

A federal judge has approved a $25 million settlement President Donald Trump agreed to late last year in a bid to head off a civil fraud trial over his Trump University real estate seminar program.

U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued a 31-page ruling Friday deeming the deal fair and overruling claims from some former Trump University students that they should get larger payments or be allowed to drop out altogether in a bid to force Trump into a trial.

Under the settlement, former Trump University students are expected to get 80 percent to 90 percent of what they paid — typically about $1,500 for a three-day seminar or $35,000 for an in-depth mentorship program.

Curiel called that result “extraordinary” when measured by the yardstick of other class actions that are often settled for pennies on the dollar.

And let’s not forget that Donald Trump attacked this judge and said that he couldn’t be impartial because of his Mexican-American heritage.

Let’s go back to last June:

Until Donald Trump’s comments about the ethnicity of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge overseeing the fraud case against Trump University in San Diego, Curiel was anything but a household name.

Then Trump began calling Curiel a “hater” who was being unfair to him because the judge is “Hispanic,” because he is “Mexican” and because Trump is building a wall.

Trump also guaranteed us that he would prevail at trial despite the judge’s supposed lack of impartiality, but then he moved to settle as soon as he unexpectedly and disastrously was elected our president.

“We’ll go to court with that one. It will be a long case but it will end up in a victory ultimately because, again, almost all of [the Trump University students] have given great reviews of the courses.”

It’s easy to forget that Trump ripped people off, sometimes at $35,000 a pop, and still got elected president. I just wanted to remind you.

Also, that stuff he said about Judge Curiel? It was kind of racist.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at