The story of Donald Trump, Michael Cohen and the president’s desperate efforts to make sure the public never saw his school records may seem relatively unimportant, even if it reveals something about Trump’s insecurities.
Central to that picture was the idea that Obama was the most undeserving of all. Trump turned himself from a reality show character to a political figure by becoming the country’s most prominent advocate of birtherism, the racist theory that Obama was not a real American but, in fact, had been born in Kenya.
What may be not quite as well remembered is that Trump also repeatedly demanded that Obama release his transcripts, and claimed over and over that Obama could not possibly have gotten into Columbia University and Harvard Law School on merit. “I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?” Trump said. “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”
In other words, Obama must have been given a spot that should have gone to a more worthy person, who obviously would have been white (and it’s no small irony that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner almost certainly was admitted to Harvard only because his father made a well-timed $2.5 million donation to the school).