Jul 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Mary Trump's explosive tell-all book


Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A number of publications have received advanced copies of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man" — a tell-all book by Mary Trump that paints her uncle, President Trump, as a power-hungry sociopath.

Why it matters: Mary Trump, a trained psychologist, details her uncle's upbringing and what she sees as formative moments in his personality. Donald Trump's younger brother, Robert, has tried and failed to block the publication from hitting store shelves, citing a non-disclosure agreement Mary Trump signed 20 years ago.

Highlights of the book's allegations, via the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN:

  • Today's Donald Trump is a product of a scornful and unaffectionate father: "[Donald's] personality served his father's purpose," Mary Trump writes. "That's what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance."
    • "By limiting Donald's access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it," she adds.
  • Trump paid someone to take his SATs for him while in high school. The high scores helped him get accepted to the University of Pennsylvania's elite Wharton business school, which he has called "the best school in the world."
  • On the night that Donald Trump's older brother, Freddy, died from an alcohol-induced heart attack in 1981, Mary Trump alleges the family sent him to the hospital alone. She claims Donald Trump went to see a movie instead of staying by his brother's bedside.
  • Donald Trump's sister Maryanne Trump had concerns about her brother's fitness for office and was baffled by his support among evangelicals: "He's a clown — this will never happen," she allegedly said in 2015. "The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there," Mary Trump claims her aunt said. "It's mind boggling. But that's all about his base. He has no principles. None!"
  • Mary Trump dismisses the notion that the president is playing 4D-chess when it comes to his political moves and that he operates according to a strategy: "He doesn't. Donald's ego has been and is a fragile and inadequate barrier between him and the real world, which, thanks to his father's money and power, he never had to negotiate by himself."

The bottom line, via Mary Trump: "If he is afforded a second term, it would be the end of American democracy. Donald, following the lead of my grandfather and with complicity, silence, and inaction from his siblings, destroyed my father. I can't let him destroy my country."

What they're saying:

Mary Trump and her book’s publisher may claim to be acting in the public interest, but this book is clearly in the author’s own financial self-interest. President Trump has been in office for over three years working on behalf of the American people – why speak out now? The President describes the relationship he had with his father as warm and said his father was very good to him. He said his father was loving and not at all hard on him as a child. Also, the absurd SAT allegation is completely false.
— White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews

Go deeper: How Mary Trump leaked Trump's financials to the New York Times

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