Moneybox

The Art of Dealing With a Meddling Wife, According to Trump University

Do you think Donald Trump asks Melania for permission?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There is in movies and plays about sales almost always a moment wherein a man (and it’s always a man) is considering some ill-advised purchase—real estate, penny stocks, a time share in Greenland, etc. Just when it looks like the fish might be hooked, he decides he needs to consult his wife. It is then the salesman’s job to convince him not to. 

As revealed in freshly unsealed court documents, Trump University had a solution for what we will, with Trumpish gender sensitivity, refer to as the meddling-wife problem. It boils down to the marketer extracting a promise from the potential “student” not to get him in trouble with his boss:

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Lame. This is the rare instance where fiction outstrips Trump. In Glengarry Glen Ross, for instance, Ricky Roma—portrayed in the movie by Al Pacino—lets loose this memorable bit of wisdom: “I want to tell you something. Your life is your own. You have a contract with your wife. You have certain things you do jointly, you have a bond there … and there are other things. Those things are yours. You needn’t feel ashamed, you needn’t feel that you’re being untrue…or that she would abandon you if she knew.” In Boiler Room, Harry, the purchasing manager for a gourmet foods store, caves and buys some stock after Giovanni Ribisi tells him to imagine what his spouse is “going to say when you bring her back a big fat check because you had the foresight to see a good thing coming.”

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The main lesson here, though: always talk to your spouse. Especially if you’re considering buying what Donald Trump is selling.

Read more Slate coverage of Trump University.

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