Sneak Peek At Tell-All Book By Trump's Niece

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 07, 2020 - 2:25 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — President Donald Trump’s niece offered a devastating portrayal of him in a book that credits a “perfect storm of catastrophes" for exposing the president at his worst.

Mary L. Trump, a psychologist, writes in “Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man" that the coronavirus pandemic, the possibility of an economic depression and deepening social divides have brought out the “worst effects" of Donald Trump's pathologies, which were less evident when the country had a stable economy and the lack of serious crises.

Those factors, along with “Donald's penchant for division, and uncertainty about our country's future have created a perfect storm of catastrophes that no one is less equipped than my uncle to manage," she writes.

Mary Trump is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. She has a doctorate in psychology and Washington Post reporter Shane Harris, who had the chance to read a copy of the book, said in many ways it reads almost like a work of psychological analysis. 

"She essentially says that he (President Trump) has never really developed beyond the age that he was as a child. He is somebody for whom, there is, she says, 'no real empathy, no concept of another.' She talks about how when her father was young, she describes him as having dubbed the president 'The Great I Am,' echoing a passage from Exodus that he learned in Sunday school, in which God first reveals himself to Moses,'" Harris said. "Her father had this almost sort of comical view of his brother as somebody who, as she writes, started to believe his own height, she says. By the time he was 12 the right side of his mouth was curled up in an almost perpetual sneer of self conscious superiority."

In the book, Harris said Mary Trump describes the president as "someone who had an extraordinarily high opinion of himself" and saw "rules and order as something that he was meant to break and defy." She also claims that President Trump paid someone to take the SATs for him.

"She talks even about him tormenting his younger brother and then delighting in this, hiding his toys and threatening that if he didn't stop crying about it that he would dismantle them in front of him," Harris said.

The book also looks at the relationship between the Trump brothers and their father.

"She draws a lot of distinctions between how his influence as an extremely domineering father really shaped both of them," Harris said. "In Mary Trump's case, her own father is someone who was that, as she describes him, quite sensitive, more emotional, maybe more inward. Who was constantly trying to avoid his father's disapproval, whereas Donald Trump, the current president, was someone who seemed to not care at all about his father's approval and was constantly breaking rules, tormenting his siblings and this seemed to make his father actually appreciate him even more and sort of brought him into his good graces."

In the book, Mary Trump writes that current challenges have weakened the president's usual tools for shielding himself from blame.

“His ability to control unfavorable situations by lying, spinning and obfuscating has diminished to the point of impotence in the midst of the tragedies we are currently facing,” she said.

“His egregious and arguably intentional mishandling of the current catastrophe has led to a level of pushback and scrutiny that he's never experienced before, increasing his belligerence and need for petty revenge as he withholds vital funding, personal protective equipment, and ventilators that your tax dollars have paid for from states whose governors don't kiss his ass sufficiently," Mary Trump wrote.

Harris said the book is very much from Mary Trump's point of view and that comes through in the pages.

"I don't know where her particular motivations are within the family. I mean, obviously she feels that people need to be informed about, and I don't think it's unfair to say, warned perhaps about her uncle," Harris said. "So when readers pick this up now, there's no doubt that this is one person's telling. That said, it is somebody who intimately knows her own family, and this is the closest in-person look we've ever gotten I think at the Trump family in this level of detail from a member of that family."

The president’s brother, Robert Trump, tried to bar publication of the book. Early copies of the book, slated for publication next week, became available on Tuesday.

A ruling briefly blocking its publication was lifted last week by a New York state appellate judge.

Robert Trump had argued in legal papers that Mary Trump was subject to a 20-year-old agreement between family members that no one would publish accounts involving the core family members without their approval.

Simon & Schuster said it did not know about any alleged family agreement until a few weeks ago and was not a part of any deal. It said that 75,000 first-run editions had already been sent to bookstores.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed the book, calling it "ridiculous" and "absurd." 

"It's a book of falsehoods," she said. "It's ridiculous, absurd allegations that have absolute no bearing in truth. Have yet to see the book, but it is a book of falsehoods."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Stay informed, stay connected — follow WCBS 880 on Facebook and TwitterDownload the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.