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Sometimes the week's truly important story is one which throws a new kind of light onto what we knew already. I think for this week it's the story printed by the Washington Post as written by Marc Fisher, with Michael E. Miller ad Karen Heller contributors. I'll cut to the chase so that if you don't want to bother read the details, you can get at least the significance of this. It's probably online in more than one place and other writers will have discussed it too.



A group of high level teachers, officers and headmaster at the New York Military Academy, a prestigious expensive military boarding school, in 2011 upon being put under pressure to deliver his transcript to wealthy alumni friends of Trump, knowing that one of their students who had an appalling record is about to become a public figure who will come under every kind of scrutiny instead of releasing this to the public so as to warn the public against what this man was and is, or thinking to themselves, this will be found out and it will look better if we are the agents of the truth, frantically hide it - by moving it to a place that the public cannot reach. We are told in the story that Trump is the only student for whom this has been done.

Why this extraordinary action if it is extraordinaray:  securely secreting it away? because they passed him? because they are now afraid of him?  because they hope for some money or favor from his administration. They are quoted in the story as leery (afraid) of his "friends." Trump apparently (it's said in said story by someone in the school) had some kind of "special status" and the school (like so many American schools) is in a precarious economic position.

We are told that in this same year 2011 the school's leadership openly discusses selling the 113 acre campus and shutting it down. Some representatives visit Trump at his Manhattan office asking for 7 million. Someone spills a Diet Coke on Trump's cream rug and Trump screams a curse at them. Trump wants to know what he gets for this $7 million. The promise to name a program, building or the whole school after Trump. He is not impressed. He tells them "the school has had a good run." In other words, shut the place down. Apparently 10 years earlier Trump had been asked for a cash donation after Trump offered to pay to build a building in honor of a coach, Theodore Dobias, whom Trump claimed was "this man he loved." In the event Trump didn't give anyone a dime. He also had Cohen (now we know who he is) tell them Trump "would love to have enough money so he could bulldoze it."

I don't know which is the more revealing moment or utterance in the story: the venality, meanness and dereliction of any duty on the part of the members of the school throughout. The one out-of-character detail is what must be part of the explanation for this hiding:   the time some of this students' teachers must've written the truth down about him, about his character and what he did in the social life of the school; they must've given him the awful grades he deserved --  though because his father was such an enormous contributor they passed him.  In 2001 and again 2011 the cool nastiness, blunt scorn and sneering of Trump, his desire to destory the place so frankly expressed out of spite, revenge and resentment? In Michael Moore's under-rated Fahrenheit 11/9, his major thesis is that Trump could not have taken power, would not have been possible (the TV con-man whom public media made into a god of reality show cruelty -- ho ho what fun to fire, to humiliate people) without numerous groups in our society paving the way, paying for it, praying for it and now keeping him in power.

The general story's actuating motives include fear, show us how threat works and how people respond with nervous fear for themselves, and the reaction of the place they work for and the customers who come to it.

How did this kind of focus emerge on a grade transcript in such an anti-intellectual country where Trump's base support, both working class and super-rich are anything but concerned with good grades? Trump himself as usual the unthinking lying insulting braggart, so resentful of Obama, the gentleman, black, highly intelligent hard-working student, insulted Obama by demanding he "shows his records." The purpose of this was to suggest Obama was lying about his school records. Apparently in 2012 Trump insinuated Obama was not qualified for admission to Columbia where he finished his undergraduate degree nor Harvard where he graduated "magna cum laude." Trump offered to give $5 million in charity if Obama released his transcripts.

Either he or someone else he pays realized that the spontaneous reation of Obama or his people would be to ask to see Trump's records. A few names: the headmaster at the time was Evan Jones, and it was Jeffrey Coverdale, the superintendent who came to Jones with the demands and threats. Now Coverdale does confirm this story and says he was the person who refused to give the copy of these grades to Trump and his people: "I moved them elsewhere on campus where they could not be released. It's the only time I ever moved an alumnus's records." They were secured where "no staff could get them." People had been making inquiries. Coverdale won't say where "he hid Trump's records or identify the people who ordered him to pull them out of the school's files." Coverdale quoted:  "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."

Evan Jones is the second person quoted by Fisher in the story. He too would not "disclose the contents of the transcript." Jones works for Coverdale and also says "it was the only time in his career that I ever heard of someone's records being removed ... But people were fearful of whatever call was made from Mr Trump's friends. I was told we're getting a lot of heat from this."

The newsstory appeared on March 6,2019, pp 1 and 8. Why did it surface again or now? During the interrogation of Cohen on TV he told the House Oversight and Reform Committee his "job was to attack Trump's critics and defend his reputation." One instance of this was when Trump "ordered him 'to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores."

The story includes how Trump often boasts he was a "stellar student," "first in my class" at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton business school." Trump has boasted that he did very well "under the military system," and learned and did more than "guys that go into the military."  His parents sent him to this school because "I was a wise guy, and they wanted to get me in line."  The reporters' research: Trump's name does not appear on any honor list or as receiving any academic prize. Trump loved to compete with others by having the cleanest room or best-made bed. He was known as  "prominent baseball player" who bought "women" to the campus and showed them round (like so many objects).

No one working at the school, connected to it, has responded to any requests from the Post for comments.

Other information (such as it is):

This New York Military Academy closed down in 2015 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but was quickly re-opened "after a non-profit entity led by a Chinese investor, Vincent Mo, bought it at an auction, and said he would pay off the school's $16 million debt.

Cohen said he sent threatening letters to other schools Trump attended, "warning that 'we will hold your institution liable' if any of his records were released. In his letter to the president of Fordham University, where Trump spent his first two years studying business administration, Cohen demanded that the records be 'permanently sealed' and said any release was 'criminality" which will lead "to jail time."

A Fordham person confirmed the school received the letter, and a phone call from the Trump campaign and said "the university was bound by federal law not to reveal any student records without Trump's permission."  A spokesman for the University of Pennsylvania declined to comment."

Trump often offers to give money for charities and never does. The So. District of NY has caught him and his family using a charitable organization they set up as a front to gather money for themselves.

******************************

I realize many people might not think this an important story but I do because it just tells so much about Trump's methods and the phenomena his successes are made of.

If we could read any of these they would probably tell us Trump cannot understand what he reads beyond say a fourth or fifth grade level. But that is not the most important element in this newspaper report.

Miss Drake

Comments

(Anonymous)
Mar. 8th, 2019 12:02 pm (UTC)
Very worthwhile reading.

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