The latest tell-all book about Donald Trump is different in one crucial way – it’s written by a member of his own family. And it is scathing.
The latest tell-all book about Donald Trump is different in one crucial way – it’s written by a member of his own family. And it is scathing.

Relative reveals how Trump’s father ‘destroyed’ him

Another week, another tell-all book about Donald Trump.

It feels like we only just stopped talking about The Room Where It Happened, former White House national security adviser John Bolton's damning account of his time working for the President.

And yet, there is already another embarrassing book about Mr Trump on the horizon.

This one, written by the President's own niece, Mary Trump, is called Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man. As the title suggests, it is not a flattering portrayal.

Mary Trump, 55, is the daughter of Mr Trump's late brother, Fred Jr. She has a PhD in clinical psychology, and works as the chief executive officer of a company called the Trump Coaching Group.

Her book was originally scheduled to come out next month, but its release has been brought forward to next week, in defiance of the Trump family's attempts to halt its publication.

When the book's existence was first revealed in June, The Daily Beast reported it contained "harrowing and salacious" stories about the President. Today some of those stories emerged, as media in the United States published stories previewing Dr Trump's revelations.

TRUMP'S FATHER ACCUSED OF 'CHILD ABUSE'

According to The Washington Post, Dr Trump claims the President's father, Fred Trump, "destroyed" him psychologically at a young age by short-circuiting his "ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion".

"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 writes.

Dr Trump says Donald had "plenty of time to learn from watching Fred humiliate" his older brother - and her own father - Fred Trump Jr, who died after a battle with alcoholism in 1981 at the age of 42.

"Having his father not only fail to meet his needs but to make him feel safe or loved, valued or mirrored, Donald suffered deprivations that would scar him for life," Dr Trump says.

She labels Fred Sr a "high-functioning sociopath".

'CHEATING AS A WAY OF LIFE'

The book includes a damning claim that Mr Trump paid someone to take the university admission exam, the SAT, on his behalf.

The President has often bragged about the fact that he went to the prestigious Wharton School of Business, from which he claimed a bachelor's degree in 1968.

Dr Trump alleges her uncle only got into the school because he cheated, and went on to embrace "cheating as a way of life", according to The New York Times.

THE NIGHT OF FRED JR'S DEATH

On the night of Fred Jr's death in 1981, Dr Trump says, the Trump family sent him to hospital alone.

Meanwhile, the future president went to see a movie.

Mr Trump has previously cited his older brother's struggle with alcoholism as a key reason why he himself doesn't drink. And in an interview with The Washington Post last year, he confessed he regretted scolding Fred Jr over his career choices.

"I do regret having put pressure on him," he said, acknowledging the family business was "just something (Fred Jr) was never going to want" to go into.

"It was just not his thing," Mr Trump continued.

"I think the mistake that we made was we assumed that everybody would like it. That would be the biggest mistake … there was a sort of double pressure put on him."

SISTER'S SCATHING ASSESSMENT

Mr Trump's sister is Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal judge. Mary Trump claims she spoke to her aunt amid Mr Trump's presidential run in 2015-16.

"He's a clown," Maryanne reportedly said, deriding her brother as a "faded reality star".

"This will never happen."

Not a great prediction, but she was hardly alone in making it.

Maryanne also had a go at Mr Trump for pretending to be religious to win evangelical votes.

"The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there," she said.

"It's mind-boggling. But that's all about his base. He has no principles. None!"

TRUMP LABELLED A 'NARCISSIST'

Dr Trump, a psychologist, claims her uncle meets all nine clinical criteria for narcissism. But she says even that does not fully capture what's going on in his head.

"The fact is, Donald's pathologies are so complex and his behaviours so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neurophysical tests that he'll never sit for," she concludes, according to The Times.

"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."

President Trump will not be a fan of this book. Picture: Alex Brandon/AP
President Trump will not be a fan of this book. Picture: Alex Brandon/AP

'A BOOK OF FALSEHOODS'

So, there are some pretty heavy allegations there. According to the White House, they're all nonsense.

Speaking to reporters today, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany labelled it a "book of falsehoods".

"She's a criminal psychologist, says the President is narcissistic, lying as a means of self-aggrandisement, all sorts of allegations. Your response to that on his behalf?" asked NBC reporter Peter Alexander.

"It's ridiculous. Absurd allegations that have absolutely no bearing in truth," Ms McEnany responded.

"I have yet to see the book, but it is a book of falsehoods."

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway offered a similar response.

"I believe family matters should be family matters. I think the think-skinned, troubled, living-in-a-glass-house mainstream media members who think people's families are their business ought to really think thrice the next time they do that," Ms Conway said.

"This is like every other book out there," she said.

"We imbue instant credibility unto anybody, especially those not under oath and writing works of fiction - or fiction within a work of fiction - as long as they're out there to get the President.

"I think reporters ought to focus on getting the story and not the President."

YEARS OF BAD BLOOD

The bad blood between Mary and Donald Trump goes back decades.

Fred Jr was the eldest son of Fred Sr, and initially, the heir to the family empire. But he did not wish to pursue a career in real estate or business. Instead, he became a pilot.

Dr Trump's book includes allegations that Fred Sr and Donald "contributed" to her father's death through their treatment of him. She claims the pair "neglected him at critical stages of his addiction".

However, the greater source of her antipathy towards Mr Trump can be traced back to the aftermath of Fred Sr's death in 1999.

The Trump patriarch's will left the vast majority of his estate to his four living children - Donald, Maryanne, Robert and Elizabeth.

Mary Trump and her brother, Fred III, were treated the same way as Fred Sr's other grandchildren, who each got $200,000.

They filed a legal objection, saying they were entitled to a fifth of the estate - the share their late father, Fred Jr, would have received if he were still alive. They claimed Fred Sr had only signed the final version of his will because of "fraud and undue influence" from Donald, Maryanne and Robert.

At the time, Fred III had a young son, William. The child suffered from a rare disorder called infantile spasms, which could lead to seizures, cerebral palsy and autism. He needed an immense amount of medical care.

Mr Trump and his siblings responded to the legal challenge by cutting Fred III off from the family's medical benefits - and by extension, ditching William as well.

"When (Fred) sued us, we said, 'Why should we give him medical coverage?'" the future president told The New York Daily News in 2000.

The paper asked him whether he thought the move could look cold-hearted, "given the young child's medical condition".

"I can't help that," Mr Trump said.

"It's cold when someone sues my father. Had (Fred III) come to see me, things could very possibly have been much different for them."

"I was angry because they sued," Mr Trump explained again, this time to The New York Times, during the 2016 campaign.

Fred III did have the means to continue caring for William, who was quickly diagnosed with cerebral palsy. But Mary Trump in particular was furious.

"My aunt and uncles should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure they are not," she told The Daily News in 2000.

She has said little about Mr Trump in public since, with the exception of some politically charged tweets posted after his victory over Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Dr Trump called the result "utterly horrifying" and said it had been "one of the worst nights" of her life. The rest of her social media feed makes it obvious that she is a Democrat, though she has not posted on Twitter since 2018.

 

 

 

Originally published as How Trump's father 'destroyed' him


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