Trump Defends His $25 Million Settlement of Trump University Lawsuits

The president-elect once said he would never settle the suits.

ByABC News
November 19, 2016, 10:16 AM
In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally, in New York.
In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally, in New York.
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

— -- President-elect Donald Trump, who once said he would never settle the lawsuits against Trump University, is taking to Twitter to explain why he chose to settle for $25 million.

Trump tweeted this morning that he settled “for a small fraction of the potential award” because he must now devote his attention to being the next president of the United States. He did not make clear what could have been “the potential award.”

A few minutes later, the real estate developer and former reality TV star wrote another post, saying, “The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!”

It wasn’t that long ago that Trump vowed to not back down against the three civil fraud lawsuits. In February, he wrote on Twitter, “Trump University has a 98% approval rating. I could have settled but won’t out of principle!”

Lawyers for Trump announced Friday that all three lawsuits against the now-defunct Trump University were settled with no admission of wrongdoing.

"We can all put the history behind us and move forward. That is certainly the view of President-elect Trump who looks forward to tackling the problems of our country,” Daniel Petrocelli, Trump's lead attorney on the case, told reporters.

A spokesperson for The Trump Organization said they had "no doubt" that Trump University would have won the suit, but a "resolution of these matters" was necessary to allow Trump to focus on the needs of the nation.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had brought one of the suits against the program, said he was "pleased" with the outcome and that it amounted to a "stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university."

Trump and his attorneys have defended the for-profit real estate seminar program, saying it imparted valuable knowledge and that a vast majority of former students were happy with their experience.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky, Katherine Faulders and John Santucci contributed to this report.

Related Topics