Real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested in an interview Monday that President Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended. Trump, who is mulling a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, offered no proof for his claim, but said he would continue to press the matter as he has the legitimacy of the president's birth record.
"I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records."
Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1983 with a degree in political science after transferring from Occidental College in California. He later went to Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama's 2008 campaign did not release his college transcripts, and in his best-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father," Obama indicated he hadn't always been an academic star. Trump told the AP that Obama's refusal to release his college grades were part of a pattern of concealing information about himself.
"I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything, and they can't get into Harvard," Trump said. "We don't know a thing about this guy. There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president."
Katie Hogan, a spokeswoman for Obama's re-election campaign, declined to comment.
Trump, a wealthy businessman and reality TV host, has risen to the top of many polls in part by his outspoken call for Obama to release his long form birth certificate. The state of Hawaii has released a certificate of live birth indicating Obama was born there Aug. 4, 1961, but that has not quelled critics who believe Obama was born outside the United States and, therefore, is not eligible to be president.
The so-called "birther" controversy has dominated the early stage of the GOP nominating contest for next year, with Trump leading the charge.
Trump, who is scheduled to travel to the early primary states of New Hampshire and Nevada this week, said he will make a final decision about a presidential bid by June.
In the AP interview, Trump also said:
Republicans had made a mistake by embracing a budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that included deep cuts in Medicare. "The seniors are afraid," Trump said.
He will disclose his net worth if decides to run.