There are many reasons to criticize Donald Trump.

He’s a deliberately polarizing public figure who likes to shoot from the verbal hip, revels in viciously taunting opponents and displays an often brutally uncompromising style that riles up a lot of people to the point of apoplexy.

But one thing you can’t say about Trump is that he’s a bad father.

I’ve been around him many times when he was with his five children — Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron — and he’s a proud, loving dad, and that feeling is reciprocated by each of them.

As any parent knows, you can’t fake that kind of relationship with your kids, and it takes a lot of work to achieve mutual respect and genuine affection.


Judge Juan Merchan suggested yesterday that Trump could be jailed if he tries to skip a day in court, even if it's to be at his son Barron’s graduation.
Justice Juan Merchan suggested yesterday that Trump could be jailed if he tries to skip a day in court, even if it’s to be at his son Barron’s graduation. AP

So I can only imagine how both he and his youngest son, now 18, must have felt when the judge in Trump’s unprecedented criminal trial suggested yesterday that he could be jailed if he tries to skip a day in court, even if it’s to be at Barron’s graduation from Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach on May 17.

I was at my youngest son’s graduation ceremony from an English university last year and it was one of the best days of both our lives — a joyous celebration of his years of hard work, enjoyed with all his closest friends and their families.

And if anyone deserves that kind of day, it’s surely Barron, who’s had to grow up in the eye of the ferocious storm of his controversial father’s political and presidential career.

It must have been so hard for him to be the son of the world’s most talked-about and divisive figure of the 21st century.

Yet none of that seems to cut much ice with Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial and warned Trump yesterday that if tries to skip any days in his court, he may be tossed into a prison cell.

Merchan hasn’t yet rejected Trump’s request to go to the graduation, but he did say that “it really depends on how we’re doing on time and where we are in the trial.”

Does it, Judge?

Shouldn’t it really depend on your basic sense of humanity toward a father and son?

As Trump said outside court: “It looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation of my son who’s worked very, very hard and he is a great student and very proud of the fact he did so well and has been looking forward for years to graduation with his mother and father there.”

This small but personally very meaningful moment in yesterday’s opening day of this trial just about summed up the whole unedifying farce.

In the annals of American presidential history, has there ever been a cheaper, more demeaning and utterly pointless attempt to shame and humiliate one of the only 45 people to be president of the United States?

This whole Stormy Daniels saga is so pathetic.

Honestly, who cares if Trump may have had a one-night stand with a porn star 18 years ago?

If it happened the way Stormy recounted it to me in an interview last year, then it was an entirely consensual fling — one that Trump denies — between two adults who knew exactly what they were doing.

And Trump wasn’t a politician at the time, he was a billionaire real estate tycoon and TV star.

You can harbor moral disapproval of it if you wish, but the idea that it has led to a criminal trial in which Trump faces up to 10 years in prison is ridiculous.

It’s patently obvious that Manhattan’s DA, Alvin L. Bragg, has been driven by political malice in bringing the 34-count indictment accusing Trump of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to buy Daniels’ silence before the 2016 election.

Even if that’s exactly what Trump did, it would be no different from the myriad similar deals struck by the rich and famous in America all the time to stop damaging stories coming out about them — true or false.

And there’s such a stinking hypocrisy about the way Democrats have tried to destroy Trump for alleged sexual peccadillos.

Bill Clinton had sex with an intern in the Oval Office when he was a sitting president and paid $850,000 to settle a case with Paula Jones, who accused him of harassing and assaulting her while he was Arkansas governor.

Both these things strike me as considerably more serious than anything Trump did with Daniels in a Beverly Hills hotel.

Yet I don’t remember Clinton enduring any criminal trial.

However, I do remember him attending his daughter Chelsea’s graduation from Sidwell Friends High School in 1997, embracing her off stage after she received her diploma, and then making an emotional speech to all the students, speaking of his great pride.

It’s outrageous that Donald and Barron Trump should be deprived of the same shared experience.

Should the moment come next month when Merchan bans him from attending, Trump should ignore him and go to the graduation.

If Merchan tries to jail him for doing what any loving father in America would do in the same situation, Trump will win the election by a landslide.



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