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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 24, 2024

Trump attended his eldest children’s graduations, contrary to online claims

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  • Former President Donald Trump attended his four eldest children’s graduations. The judge presiding over his Manhattan criminal trial didn’t suggest otherwise.

A recent Threads post casts doubt on whether former President Donald Trump’s request to delay his Manhattan criminal trial so that he could attend his son Barron’s high school graduation in May is genuine.

"I need to go to Barron’s graduation!!!" reads the post’s text, which is next to a courtroom sketch of Trump. 

"Sir, you didn’t attend the graduations of your other 4 children…" reads the text below it next to a courtroom sketch of Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the trial.  

"True story," the Threads post said. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

We found no evidence that Merchan said this. What actually happened: On the first day of jury selection, Trump asked Merchan not to hold trial May 17, so he could attend Barron’s graduation. The school ceremony at Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida, is scheduled for 10 a.m. that day, and the trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.

Merchan has ruled on neither Trump’s request nor a separate request from a Trump lawyer whose own son is graduating June 3, The Associated Press reported.

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But the judge seemed open to the idea of adjourning for one or both days.

"Regarding counsel's request that the court adjourn on Friday, May 17th for Mr. Trump to attend his son's high school graduation and Friday June 3rd to allow a member of the defense team to attend their son's graduation, I cannot rule on those two requests at this time. It really depends on how we are doing on time and where we are in the trial. If everything is going according to schedule without unnecessary delays, then I am sure we will be able to adjourn for one or both of those days, but if we are running behind schedule, we will not be able to," Merchan said, according to CBS News.

Claims that Trump didn’t attend the graduations of his children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump,  can all be rebutted. We’ve previously debunked claims that Trump wasn’t at Ivanka Trump’s college graduation. A 2016 column in The Choate News, a student newspaper at Ivanka Trump’s high school, Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, quotes a former student saying, "The only time I saw Donald Trump on campus was at graduation."  

Snopes published a photo of Trump at Donald Trump Jr.’s high school graduation from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in May 1996, and dug up several news clips placing the former president at his children’s graduations. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Trump attended Trump Jr.’s college graduation in May 2000. 

Trump also attended Eric Trump’s high school graduation, also at The Hill School, according to New York’s City & State. When he graduated from Georgetown University, "proud pop Donald" was part of the "extended clan" that "turned out for the festivities," Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle newspaper reported.

And Tiffany Trump’s former classmate recalled in a Los Angeles Times opinion column seeing Donald Trump in the third row of their high school graduation. The Hollywood Reporter, among other publications, wrote that Trump paused his 2016 presidential campaign to attend Tiffany Trump's college graduation ceremony that year. 

We rate this post False.


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Trump attended his eldest children’s graduations, contrary to online claims

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