President Donald Trump once said he "heard" that he was first in his class at the University of Pennsylvania, but has declined to release any of his academic records.
The Daily Pennsylvanian has confirmed that, while Trump finished his undergraduate degree at the university's Wharton business program, his name doesn't appear on the school's dean's list or on the list of students who received academic honors in his class of 1968.
"I recognize virtually all the names on that list," 1968 Wharton graduate Stephen Foxman said, "and Trump just wasn't one of them." (Another classmate pointed out that that there was no indication on the 1968 Commencement Program that Trump graduated with any honors.)
Once the story dropped, George Conway, a frequent Trump critic and the husband of presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, said that Trump is a "summa cum liar."
I will concede him this: Wherever he goes and whatever he does, Trump will always be summa cum liar. #SummaCumLiar https://t.co/9HGCV3THLA— George Conway (@George Conway)1551842952.0
And just like that, a new hashtag was born.
Presidents don't have to show us their grades. But Trump claimed he was first in his class. He harassed Obama about… https://t.co/GNoZsEEGa1— Nick Jack Pappas (@Nick Jack Pappas)1551875681.0
45 has mastered the #ArtOfTheLie it's not just 1 lie, it's a long series of lies to cover up the first, tries to… https://t.co/ws3y6ZHtmG— Liz Lurye (@Liz Lurye)1551876957.0
As a copywriter, I really love a great hook (#SummaCumLiar ). As a smartass, I love that this is coming from Kellya… https://t.co/kmF60aLVZ9— Word_Girl 💋 (@Word_Girl 💋)1551874299.0
Ron Ozio, a University of Pennsylvania spokesperson, said the school cannot release the academic records of alumni other than to confirm date of graduation, degree and major.
"[This] does not change because an alumnus is famous or holds a public position," he said in a written statement.
Yesterday, The Washington Post published a story which appears to confirm former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Cohen said that Trump ordered him "to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores" as part of an effort to defend Trump's reputation.
Cohen says he threatened schools not to release Trump's grades www.youtube.com
Evan Jones, the former headmaster of the New York Military Academy, recalled that in 2011 superintendent Jeffrey Coverdale "came to me in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump's friends" who had asked him to bury Trump's academic records.
Coverdale confirmed that this happened, and said that he refused to comply:
"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. I moved them elsewhere on campus where they could not be released. It's the only time I ever moved an alumnus's records."
Coverdale did not disclose where he hid Trump's records and declined to identify the individuals who'd ordered him to pull Trump's academic records:
"I don't want to get into anything with these guys. You have to understand, these were millionaires and multimillionaires on the board, and the school was going through some troubles. But to hear, 'You will deliver them to us?' That doesn't happen. This was highly unusual."
The order came just days after Trump challenged former President Barack Obama to "show" his own academic records to prove he'd been "a terrible student."
Trump, who for years used the "birther" conspiracy to suggest Obama was a foreigner despite evidence to the contrary, kept this up into the following year.
Trump told The Post during his 2016 campaign that he "did very well under the military system. I became one of the top guys at the whole school." He declined to release his academic records, saying: "I'm not letting you look at anything."