U.S.

How Donald Trump's High School Buried His Academic Transcripts: 'I Was Given Directives'

President Donald Trump appears to have gone the extra mile to ensure that his academic records are buried from public view through alleged threats and his former attorney and “personal fixer” Michael Cohen.

Last week, Cohen told a House Committee that Trump directed him “to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores” during the 2016 presidential campaign. In a letter Cohen sent to school administrators in 2015, shown to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he vowed to hold them liable to “the fullest extent of the law” if they did not comply.

Evan Jones, the former headmaster at New York Military Academy, a boarding school that the president attended from age 13 until he started at Fordham University, remembers receiving a similar order in 2011, days after Trump called on then-President Barack Obama to “show his records” to demonstrate he wasn’t a “terrible student.”

“[The superintendent of the private school] came to me in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump’s friends,” Jones told the Washington Post. “He said, ‘You need to go grab that record and deliver it to me because I need to deliver it to them.’”

Jeffrey Coverdale, the superintendent, told the Post he was instructed to hand over Trump’s records to members of the school’s board, but he declined.

“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,” he said. “I moved them elsewhere on campus where they could not be released. It’s the only time I ever moved an alumnus’s records.”

New York Military Academy graduate Richard Pezzullo, who worked with school officials, recalls that the request sparked hysteria within the institution. “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,” he told the Post. “People had been making inquiries, and there was a paramount interest in securing those records.”

Both Coverdale and Jones refused to declined to disclose information contained in the transcripts, according to the Post. It is also unclear whether the intitial request to hide the transcripts came from Cohen.

The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.

GettyImages-1133872968 U.S. President Donald Trump attends a signing ceremony for of an executive order at the White House on the “National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide” March 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. On Tuesday, the Washington post dropped a report detailing how Trump's former high school the New York Military Academy buried his academic records. Getty/Win McNamee

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