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Report: Trump will pay millions to settle Trump University fraud lawsuit

Donald Trump listens as Michael Sexton introduces him to announce the establishment of Trump University at a May 23, 2005, press conference in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

According to reports, President-elect Donald Trump is nearing a settlement with the plaintiffs in the fraud lawsuit that stemmed from his involvement in the now-defunct Trump University. The New York Daily News reports that the settlement figure is estimated to be between $20 million and $25 million and will not include a public admission of wrongdoing by Trump.

Before his election, Trump had been adamant that he would never settle with the Trump University plaintiffs and even stated that he was going to re-open the series of real estate seminars after the lawsuit was over. However, Trump's surprise victory in the general election has increased the urgency to put the matter behind him.

Trump's attorneys were due in court in San Diego Friday to argue a motion that seeks to delay the start of the trial until after Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20. They had argued that the demands of the presidential transition effort precluded Trump from participating in the trial, currently set to begin the week after Thanksgiving. However, Trump's political team complicated that argument by announcing a planned victory rally tour through states Trump won — a tour that is scheduled to occur on the same days as the fraud trial.

The fraud trial became a political issue on the campaign trail after Trump's Republican rivals attempted unsuccessfully to use the allegations made by the plaintiffs against him in television commercials. The issue flared up again after Trump secured the Republican nomination when Trump attacked presiding Judge Gonzalo Curiel — a lifelong U.S. citizen from Chicago — claiming that his "Mexican heritage" precluded him from presiding over the case fairly because of Trump's promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

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