WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Eric Trump on Tuesday took a page from his father’s playbook as he defended against claims that members of a Florida golf club were ripped off when their deposits weren’t returned and they were barred from using the facilities after the billionaire purchased the money-losing club.

“We took something that had really gone bad and we made it great again,” Eric Trump, the executive vice president of the golf club, told a judge in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, echoing his father, the Republican presidential nominee, whose slogan is that he’ll “make America great again.”

The Trump Organization saved the golf club because it was insolvent, Eric Trump testified.

The former members sued the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter to recover almost $5 million in deposits that they say should have been refunded when Donald Trump changed the membership rules after buying the venture from Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. in 2012.

The members who are suing were on a list to resign from the club, and were to receive a refund of their deposit, once new members joined. Under the Ritz-Carlton rules, they could continue to use the club until they received their refunds.

In a letter to the members, Donald Trump told them if they chose to remain on the resignation list: “You’re out.” In video testimony shown in court Monday the elder Trump called the threat “negotiation.”

“Until you have a person come in to fill up a vacancy you’re not going to let someone resign,” Eric Trump explained on the second day of what’s scheduled to be a three-day trial. “You’re either a member or you’re not a member.”

When Donald Trump bought the club 16 miles north of West Palm Beach, he agreed to assume the liability of about $41 million in member deposits that were refundable.

Both sides in the dispute agreed to waive a jury trial, so U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra will decide whether Trump must pay the club’s former members back.

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