Donald trump (two split)


Trump’s base froths over claim judge barred from son’s graduation—despite that never happening

It’s not true.


Tricia Crimmins


On the first day of his hush money criminal trial, former President Donald Trump asked Judge Juan Manuel Merchan—who Trump and his allies have been relentlessly attacking online—if the trial could not be in session on the day of his son Barron’s high school school graduation.

Judge Merchan seemed open to it, saying if things kept pace it wouldn’t be a problem, but also that he could not rule on the request yet.

But Trump told reporters outside the courtroom that Merchan “will not let [him] go” to see his son graduate. His supporters have taken that as fact, further fanning criticism of the judge online.

As reported by the Associated Press, Trump may not be able to attend his son’s graduation if he is needed in court that day. Specifically, Merchan said yesterday he wouldn’t rule on Trump’s request to not be in trial on May 17, but “if the trial proceeds as planned he’s willing to adjourn for one or both days.”

Trump is on trial for criminal felony charges related to falsifying his business records to cover up payments he made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who said she had sex with Trump. Daniels claims she was paid $130,000 to stay quiet about their encounter during the 2016 election.

The trial began yesterday and outside the courtroom, Trump told reporters “it looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation.”

“He’s worked very very hard, he’s a great student,” Trump said of Barron. “He was looking forward for years to have graduation with his mother and father there and it looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam. It’s a scam trial.”

Despite reporting on Merchan’s lack of a decision on Trump’s request, many Trump supporters and allies expressed their outrage on X about the graduation debacle—and took Trump’s account of the situation as fact.

“Judge Merchan is a disgrace and not a judge in the tradition of Anglo-American jurists,” Trump’s former lawyer and the former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani tweeted. “By refusing to allow Donald J. Trump to attend his son Barron’s graduation—something even guilty defendants would be allowed to do—he goes beyond the usual NYC judge selected by Democrat county bosses and is now making entirely political decisions.”

“Judge Merchan. A man who refuses to let Trump attend his own child’s graduation,” right-wing activist Graham Allen tweeted. “He is a pawn of the swamp. Doing their dirty work.”

“Barron Trump deserves to be accompanied by his father at his high school graduation, just as Donald Trump was accompanied by his father, Fred, at his,” Roger Stone tweeted alongside a photo of Trump and his father, Fred Trump, at Trump’s graduate school graduation. Stone is a conservative campaign consultant who worked on Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Other Trump supporters, like Kari Lake, have echoed the claim despite it being essentially entirely false.

Meanwhile, Trump opponents have tried to claim he never attended the graduation of his other children—claiming the former president is using it as a stall tactic—though no one has provided tangible proof of his absence at any of his children’s graduations.

This isn’t the first time Trump and his allies have attacked Merchan: Merchan gave Trump a gag order in the beginning of April after Trump posted on Truth Social about Merchan’s daughter and her political beliefs, a campaign that’s been going on for over a year now.

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