White House

How to Get Trump to Release His Transcript

He says he was a great college student but won't produce the evidence. Would $5 million change his mind?

He's thinking about it.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is bragging about his brainpower again. Here's a way to check one of his boasts: Release his grades at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Cheap shot," you say; grades don't prove much. I agree. But five years ago it was Trump who demanded that President Barack Obama release his college grades to explain how such a "terrible student" got into Harvard Law School. He offered to donate $5 million to Obama's designated charity if the grades were released.

Trump loves to say he has a high IQ. He just challenged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ comparison test and claimed repeatedly during the 2016 presidential campaign that he was a top student at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, from which he graduated in 1968.

But he's refused to release the evidence.

Let's be clear. This is not about his academic performance of half a century ago. It's about a small way to hold him accountable for one of the many misrepresentations he repeatedly makes.

Trump is entitled by law to the privacy of his academic records. So he'd have to be persuaded to release them. Here's an idea for a Democratic fat cat: emulate Trump by offering $5 million to a hurricane relief fund or a veterans organization if he'll release his Penn transcripts to back up his claim of a brilliant academic career.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Albert R. Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.net

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