Mary Trump’s Book Alleges That President Led a Life of Lies
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg)

Mary Trump’s Book Alleges That President Led a Life of Lies

President Donald Trump’s estranged niece paints a portrait of a man trained in deception and braggadocio by a distant and dysfunctional father in her highly anticipated family memoir set to be published next week.

Mary Trump writes in her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” that she was first moved to take action in 2017 as she watched “democracy disintegrating and people’s lives unraveling” as a result of her uncle’s actions.

Bloomberg News obtained a copy of the book, scheduled for release next week by Simon & Schuster, written by the daughter of the president’s late older brother.

“I watched in real time as Donald shredded norms, endangered alliances, and trod upon the vulnerable,” she wrote. “The only thing about it that surprised me was the increasing number of people willing to enable him.”

In the book Mary Trump also claims she was the source of leaked tax documents about the Trump Organization central to a Pulitzer Prize-winning report in the New York Times detailing the president’s finances. That report revealed financial schemes used by the president during the 1990s to avoid tax liabilities.

‘Book of Falsehoods’

The president previously dismissed the Times report as a “hit piece” that was “old” and “boring.” On Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany called Mary Trump’s work “a book of falsehoods” full of “absurd allegations.”

The tell-all book has been the subject of intense legal wrangling, with Robert Trump -- Mary’s other uncle -- suing to block its publication, citing a 20-year-old confidentiality agreement struck by family members to resolve a bitter legal fight over the will of Fred Trump, the family patriarch.

“I am deeply disappointed in my niece Mary’s decision to write a book concerning our family,” Robert Trump said in a statement. “Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother Fred and our beloved parents.”

In the book, Mary Trump writes that Donald’s success was built on a myth, particularly in his Atlantic City days. She said his “exaggerated assessment of himself was simultaneously fueled and validated by banks that were throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at him and a media that lavished him with attention and unwarranted praise. The two combined rendered him blind to how dire his situation was.”

‘Throwing Tantrums’

She said Donald was a “construct” of Fred Trump, who now “belonged to the banks and the media.”

“He was both enabled by and dependent upon them, just as he had been upon Fred. He had a streak of superficial charm, even charisma, that sucked certain people in. When his ability to charm hit a wall, he deployed another ‘business strategy’: throwing tantrums during which he threatened to bankrupt or otherwise ruin anybody who failed to let him have what he wanted. Either way, he won.”

The book was originally put under a temporary restraining order ahead of a July 10 hearing, but an appeals court judge lifted the ban on publication. Simon & Schuster then announced it was moving up the publication date by two weeks.

“The act by a sitting president to muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic,” Chris Bastardi, a spokesperson for Mary Trump, said in an emailed statement.

Twitter Attacks

The author says her uncle has a long history of making blanket statements about his purportedly deep knowledge of important issues, with the media failing to challenge him.

“He’s been allowed to riff about nuclear weapons, trade with China, and other things about which he knows nothing; he’s gone essentially unchallenged when touting the efficacy of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 that have not been tested or engaging in an absurd, revisionist history in which he’s never made a mistake and nothing is his fault,” she writes.

The book also faults the president for launching vicious Twitter attacks on “weaker” people including employees and political appointees whom he knows are “constrained by their duty or dependence” on him from firing back. One of the more recent examples, Mary Trump writes, is the president’s attacks on Democratic governors during the pandemic who are “constrained from calling out Donald’s incompetence for fear he would withhold ventilators and other supplies needed in order to save lives.”

“Donald learned long ago how to pick his targets,” Mary Trump writes.

The president’s brash behavior, she writes, duped his father -- and his banks -- into throwing money at him as fast as he lost it, according to the book.

“As the bankruptcies piled up and the bills for the reckless purchases came due, the loans continued but now as a means to maintain the illusion of success that had fooled them in the first place,” she writes.

Donald Trump’s “unique personality flaws” also make him easy to manipulate by the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Mary Trump wrote.

The key, according to her observations, is to shower the president with praise -- “that he’s the smartest, the greatest, the best” -- to get him to do “whatever they want, whether it’s imprisoning children in concentration camps, betraying allies, implementing economy-crushing tax cuts, or denigrating every institution that’s contributed to the United States’ rise and the flourishing of liberal democracy.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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