The Slatest

The Strangest and Most Upsetting Details From Mary Trump’s Upcoming Book

President Trump's face, in a slight frown.
President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A book by the niece of Donald Trump is set to publish next week, even as the president’s family has tried to halt its publication in court. In the book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, Mary Trump unpacks the president’s upbringing, focusing on the influence of his sociopathic father in a family rife with dysfunction.

Details emerged on Tuesday, as a number of reporters obtained copies of the book. Mary, daughter of Donald’s older brother, Freddy, scans through the family’s history in service of showing how Fred Trump Sr. rewarded ruthless competitiveness above all other qualities and emotionally stunted his children in an effort to mold them as he wished. Fred Trump propped up the favored son, Donald, with false flattery and pushed away Freddy, the son who broke with the family business, contributing to Freddy’s alcoholism and early death.

The most newsworthy allegation to be published so far has to do with Donald’s college education. According to Mary, Donald Trump paid a friend to take the SAT on his behalf. He was able to use those scores to gain entry to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school, a feat he has bragged of often.

Here are some of the other allegations Mary makes in the book:

• Freddy Trump received no medical help from family during the weeks before his death in 1981, as he stayed in their family home, even though the Trump family had financial ties to several hospitals. Mary wrote that “a single phone call would have guaranteed the best treatment for their son,” but no one made such a call. The night Freddy died from an alcohol-induced heart attack, he went to the hospital alone—his family chose not to come with him. Instead, Donald went to a movie that night.

• Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals court judge who stepped down in 2019, once told Mary that Donald Trump was “a clown” and that he would “never” be elected. Maryanne questioned why any evangelical Christians would support her brother: “The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there.” She added: “But that’s all about his base. He has no principles.”

• Mary, who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, believes her uncle meets all nine criteria for narcissism. She believes that he has only survived in the world because of his father’s wealth, which insulated him from any real responsibility.

• Donald also bullied his younger brother, Robert, for being weak. As a child, he would hide his brothers’ toys and often threatened to destroy them if Robert didn’t stop crying.

• At one point, Donald hired Mary to ghostwrite a book for him. During that process, he refused to be interviewed by her, but he did give Mary transcripts of recordings that she described as “an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date, but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he’d ever met.” In the recordings, he complained that German Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt’s calves were too large, for example.

• One of the women he complained about was Madonna, who he said chewed gum in an unattractive way.

• Ivana, Donald’s first wife, was notorious for giving cheap gifts. Mary writes that Ivana and Donald once gave her a three-pack of underwear; another time a gold lamé shoe filled with hard candy, which she thought must have been a past party favor; and another time a regifted charcuterie basket with an indentation where she suspected caviar had been.

• One time, when Mary was 29, she was wearing a bathing suit and shorts to lunch with family. Donald looked up at her and said, “Holy shit, Mary. You’re stacked.” Marla Maples responded by slapping Donald on the arm.

The book is set to publish on July 14. A judge in New York ruled on Wednesday that Simon & Schuster could proceed with its plans to publish the book but will later determine if Mary violated a two-decade-old confidentiality agreement from a conflict over Fred Trump’s will.

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