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Did Trump pay a Jewish kid to take his SATs for him?

In her forthcoming book, Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump vivisects the current resident of the White House, documenting a family legacy of emotional abuse and special treatment that made him the man he is today. But according to Trump, a clinical psychologist, not all of the president’s advantages fell under the family’s escutcheon; the young Donald got by with a little help from his (Jewish) friend.

“Too Much and Never Enough,” slated for release July 14 from Simon & Schuster, claims that Donald Trump paid “Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him.”

The reason was simple: Trump wanted to go to Wharton and didn’t think he had the right stuff. Even his grade point average, Mary Trump claims, was subpar despite the fact that his sister, Maryanne, did most of his homework.

If true, this assertion diminishes Trump’s already dubious “top of my class at Wharton” claims.

Those who’ve followed Trump closely might not be surprised to learn that he trusted a Jewish friend to fulfill this purpose for him. He was infamously quoted saying that “The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day,” (he allegedly said this after saying he hated Black people handling his accounting). And his business and administration have no shortage of Jewish confidants. But was Joe Shapiro his first one?

From what we can tell, Joe Shapiro is not the NPR correspondent, although the reporter graciously directed inquirers to the death notice of someone he believed to be Trump’s alleged accomplice. This other Joe Shapiro was the general counsel for the Disney Corporation and, before that, the real estate heir’s classmate at the University of Pennsylvania. Unlike the president, he was Phi Beta Kappa.

Shapiro was clearly a smart cookie, graduating from Harvard Law with honors, and his alleged high school favor for Trump was far from his last brush with a big name. At the time of Shapiro’s 1999 death from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, then Disney CEO Michael Eisner credited Shapiro with overhauling the House of Mouse’s legal department. Shapiro was married to tennis pro and commentator Pam Shriver. After his untimely death, she married (and divorced) actor George Lazenby, the shortest tenured James Bond.

Those interested in Hollywood star-mapping or presidential history might be interested to know that Trump isn’t the only president, or Lazenby the only action star, Shapiro has a connection to. Shriver’s fourth cousin is Maria Shriver, niece of John F. Kennedy and wife of the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We’re still left with the question of how Trump and Shapiro managed to cheat the College Board. According to Mary Trump, it didn’t take a genius (stable or no) to get away with it. Per her book it “was much easier to pull off in the days before photo IDs and computerized records.”

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected].

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