An administrative intervention effectively hid President Donald Trump’s high school records in 2011, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
In interviews with the Post, school administrators said that pressure from trustees and alumni resulted in a unique case of sealed records.
According to the Post, Trump attended the New York Military Academy (NYMA) a school patterned on the code of conduct of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for five years, starting in 1959. He was a baseball star reportedly well-known for bringing women to visit the campus.
But the question of his academic performance has kept some wondering, since Trump has previously said
that he was “one of the top guys at the whole school.”
According to the Post, just days before the actions to hide Trump’s records played out, in 2011, Trump said he’d heard that then-president Barack Obama had been “a terrible student,” and he challenged Obama to “show his records.” In 2012, Trump offered Obama $5 million
to go to the charity of his choice if he released his college applications, transcripts, and passport history.
What exactly happened that hid Trump’s records? A pair of former school officials shared their recollections.
“I was given directives, part of which I could follow but part of which I could not, and that was handing them over to the trustees,” Jeffrey Coverdale, who was superintendent of NYMA in 2011, told the Post. “I moved them elsewhere on campus where they could not be released. It’s the only time I ever moved an alumnus’ records.”
Evan Jones, the school’s then headmaster, said the superintendent had come to him “in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump’s friends” and who wanted the records kept secret.
“I don’t know if we should be doing this,” Jones said he told his boss. “He told me that several wealthy alumni, including a close friend of Mr. Trump, were putting a lot of pressure on the administration to put the record in their custody for safekeeping.”
“I know for a fact that in 2011, the decision was made by the superintendent to remove those records and secure them so no one on the staff could get to them,” said Richard Pezzullo, an alumnus who was working closely with school officials at the time, told the Post. “People had been making inquiries, and there was a paramount interest in securing those records.”
This all comes after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said during his February 27 congressional testimony that Trump had ordered him to send letters threatening legal action and “jail time” to Trump’s schools and to the College Board if they released his records or SAT scores.
Cohen, the White House, members of NYMA’s board from 2011, and the school’s current superintendent did not respond to Post requests for comment.