Donald Trump’s origin story suffers another severe blow
By Aaron Blake, Washington Post
July 8, 2019
The Washington Post’s Michael Kranish reported that Trump’s admission to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance — one of Trump’s go-to brags to play up his credentials — was hardly the feat he has claimed. In fact, Trump leaned on his older brother’s friendship with an admissions officer to get into the school. And even then, he was clearing a much lower bar than exists for acceptance to the prestigious school today.
Trump has said he went to “the hardest school to get into, the best school in the world,” calling it “super genius stuff.” Nolan counters that “it was not very difficult” to get into Wharton in 1966 and added of his interview with Trump: “I certainly was not struck by any sense that I’m sitting before a genius. Certainly not a super genius.”
It’s hardly a surprise that Trump’s academic record isn’t as stellar as he has made it out to be. We have already seen reporting establish that he wasn’t nearly as successful at Wharton as he has occasionally suggested or led reporters to believe.
But this new report feeds into a fast-emerging trend when it comes to President Trump’s telling of his biography. While he often plays up the singularity of his intellect and achievements, reporting shows he routinely relied on family or other connections at key junctures and has inflated the early successes that resulted.
The most direct parallel seems to be Trump’s medical deferment from the Vietnam War. After getting four educational deferments, he got a fifth thanks to a diagnosis of bone spurs. The New York Times reported last year that the children of the doctor who provided that diagnosis told them it was done as a favor to Trump’s father, Fred Trump Sr. — the successful real estate businessman who also accompanied his son to the Penn interview. (The elder Trump was the podiatrist’s landlord.)
The new report by Kranish also recalls perhaps the biggest revelation undercutting Trump’s self-published origin story: how he became wealthy in the first place. While Trump has claimed he got only a $1 million loan to start out with, the Times detailed how the younger Trump “received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.” The paper said these tax dodges included “instances of outright fraud.”
And when it comes to Trump’s education, he has apparently gone to great lengths to obscure the record and seems to have tapped powerful connections in the process, as The Post’s Marc Fisher detailed in March. The New York Military Academy, which Trump attended before college, moved its Trump files to a more secure location amid pressure from wealthy Trump allies. Around the same time that was revealed, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who flipped on Trump and pleaded guilty to several crimes, released a 2015 letter he wrote threatening Fordham University with legal action if Trump’s records were released.
The combined picture is one of a president who may not have been able to attend Penn or assemble anywhere close to such a fortune without familial connections. Without those, he also may have instead been serving in Vietnam around this same time.
That’s hardly the story of a self-made, brilliant budding real estate tycoon. It’s a story that apparently could have gone much differently if its protagonist were not born a Trump.
People make a big deal about the “hidden mysteries of Masonry.” There’s really not much that is “secret”. I’d be happy to tell you anything I know that you want to (and I was Master of my Lodge so I was supposed to know everything) except the Grips and Words.
Now the words are nonsense, gibberish, and the Grips are silly.
But the point to a Mason is this- If you can’t be trusted to keep a few random syllables and a stupid pre-Dapping handshake variation in confidence…
Well, what exactly can you be trusted with?
Just so with Golf. A good walk spoiled is probably the most charitable definition, none of the people I play with take it seriously at all, even the scratch Golfers who simply ignore the rest of us. We score using the Murray Method- Fairway, Into the Trap, Into the Trap, Over the Green, 3 Putts… That’s a 5 (What? Eight is not 5? You need some more time in Room 101 to think about it.).
I hope the metaphor is clear. Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio lies about everything, big or small, important or not.