Half-True
Warren
"Donald Trump said he was excited for the 2008 housing crash that devastated millions of American families, because he thought it would help him scoop up more real estate on the cheap."

Elizabeth Warren on Monday, July 25th, 2016 in a speech at the Democratic convention

Elizabeth Warren says Donald Trump was excited for 2008 housing crash

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) gestures during night one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's speech at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia was designed, in part, to convince Americans that the Republican nominee Donald Trump was no friend of the average person.

Warren said Democrats fought to get health insurance for more Americans, refinance student loans, end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas, raise the minimum wage and create a strong consumer agency "so big banks can't cheat people."

"Where was Donald Trump? In all these fights, not once did he lift a finger to help working people," she said.

"Look at his history," Warren continued. "Donald Trump said he was excited for the 2008 housing crash that devastated millions of American families, because he thought it would help him scoop up more real estate on the cheap."

She was referring to the Great Recession, in which the housing mortgage crisis played a major role.

Did Trump really get excited when the 2008 housing occurred because he saw it as a business opportunity?

We touched on this before when Hillary Clinton claimed in a television commercial that "In 2006, Donald Trump was hoping for a real estate crash." We ruled that claim Mostly True. But this claim is different.

Warren's statement suggests that Trump was excited for the crash after it happened or while it was happening. But the only evidence we've seen predates the worst of the recession.

We asked Warren's spokeswoman for evidence but didn't hear back.

Here's what we know.

The Trump statement in partly question is rooted in an audiobook How to Build a Fortune, created as part of Trump University, the controversial project that promised to have Trump teach enrollees how to become wealthy. It has been the subject of three lawsuits from former "students" who allege they were ripped off by the billionaire.

The audiobook is from 2006, when it was not obvious that the real estate market was about to tank but there was concern that inflated prices had produced a bubble that might burst, dropping values.

In the recording, Trump is being interviewed. He's asked, "There's a lot of talk, which you've no doubt heard too, about a so-called real estate bubble. What's your take on that pessimism?"

"Well first of all, I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy," Trump responded. "You know, if you're in a good cash position — which I'm in a good cash position today — then people like me would go in and buy like crazy."

"If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you can make a lot of money," he said in the section posted by CNN.

However, Trump immediately added: "At the same time, I don't think that (real estate bubble burst) will happen because if interest rates stay fairly low, if the dollar stays pretty much where it is or even goes a little bit higher, but basically if you have a weak dollar, this is tremendous amounts of money pouring in, so I don't think that's going to happen. I'm not a believer that the interest market, that the real estate market, is going to take a big hit."

So Trump didn't think the crash was going to happen.

The only other piece of evidence we've seen: A year later, in 2007, Trump told the Toronto Globe and Mail that he was ready to invest in real estate because the market was starting to head down.

"People have been talking about the end of the cycle for 12 years, and I'm excited if it is," he told the paper. "I've always made more money in bad markets than in good markets."

But once again, it's clear that Trump wasn't predicting the scope of the housing crisis.

"Donald Trump almost lost his shirt 15 years ago when the North American real estate bubble burst," the story begins. "The 2007 version of that disaster will be much more benign, the real estate magnate predicts. . .  'We're talking very minor (problems) compared with the depression of the early 1990s,' Mr. Trump said."

The Globe and Mail story said he was advising investors to take advantage of the situation by buying subprime mortgages at a discount and repossessed houses at low prices.

It's all part of the philosophy that any wise investor uses: buy low and sell high.

The Trump campaign did not respond to our request for reaction to Warren's statement.

Our ruling

Warren said, "Donald Trump said he was excited for the 2008 housing crash that devastated millions of American families, because he thought it would help him scoop up more real estate on the cheap."

We haven't seen any evidence that Trump said he was excited about the crash once it happened, and Warren's office did not provide any.

However, the existing evidence predates 2008, and it shows that Trump didn't think a crash was going to happen at all. He did make it clear that he would try to take advantage of a downturn in the housing market, but any good investor would try to do that.

Warren’s statement puts Trump’s comments in the wrong context, but she has a point about his buying philosophy. Warren's statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details, so we rate it Half True.

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