Mary Trump, the niece of President Donald Trump, is a political outsider who has garnered significant attention for her recent book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”
The book alleges that Donald Trump grew up in a dysfunctional, neglectful and abusive household that was often driven by money, ego and power. According to Mary Trump, the patriarch of the family, Fred Trump Sr., was a “sociopath” who mentally and emotionally damaged his children, including Donald.
In diagnosing the underlying reasons for the president’s behavior, which critics have called erratic and self-centered, Mary Trump says that Fred Trump taught his son to adopt a bullying and aggressive stance toward life.
The book also alleges that throughout his life Donald Trump resorted to low and dishonest tactics to glean an advantage, including paying someone to cheat on his college entrance exams and verbally maligning women who wouldn’t date him.
“Softness was unthinkable,” she wrote in reference to the way Fred Trump Sr. treated his children, adding that “Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it.”
On the first day of publication the book sold nearly 1 million copies, a number that includes preorders, e-books and audiobooks, a record for its publisher Simon & Schuster.
Growing up Trump
Mary Trump, 55, is the daughter of the late Fred Trump Jr., Donald’s older brother and the first son of Fred Trump Sr.
Mary Trump grew up in a troubled household as well. When she was a child, she reportedly lived in a Trump building called Highlander Hall in Jamaica, Queens in New York City.
According to Mary, her father was deeply troubled by the way Fred Trump Sr. raised them, especially by his bullying. Despite the family’s wealth, Fred Jr. was unable to find peace. He leaned heavily on drinking and cigarettes and died at the age of 41. Mary was only 16 years old at the time.
Much of Mary’s life has been spent out of the spotlight. She earned a master’s degree in literature from Columbia University and later a doctorate in psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University.
Mary Trump is currently a practicing clinical psychologist and lives with her daughter in New York. Her official biography with Simon & Schuster says that she has taught graduate courses in trauma, psychopathology and developmental psychology.
President Trump has characterized his niece’s book as “disgraceful.” He has also called Mary “a very scarred person” and said that her book is “stupid and vicious.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has called it a “book of falsehoods,” although she admitted that she personally “has yet to see the book.”
Some supporters of the president say that Mary Trump had financial or political motives in releasing the book. Mary Trump has been straightforward that the reasoning behind publishing it was to “take him down.” In her view, a second term for Trump would be dangerous for the country.
Mary Trump also pushed back on claims that she was looking for money, arguing that “If I had wanted money or revenge, I would have done this 10 years ago when it was infinitely safer, but neither one of those things interested me.”
Mary Trump has been at odds with her uncle for years. In the early 2000s, Mary and her brother, Fred Trump III, sued Donald and his siblings over disputed money left to the family by Fred Trump Sr. after his death in 1991.
Another lawsuit was made after Mary’s medical insurance plan through the Trump company was reportedly taken away over family grievances related to the first lawsuit.
After Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, she tweeted that it was “one of the worst nights of my life” and that “the American experiment has failed.”
In 2017, she was personally responsible for the leak of a portion of the Trump family’s financial documents to The New York Times. Mary Trump recalls that after she showed the documents to the press team, there “were hugs all around” and that it was the happiest she had felt in months. The subsequent article later won a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting.
She is reportedly voting for Joe Biden in November.
Moving forward, Mary Trump expects her uncle to continue stoking division for the sake of political and personal victories.
“Donald requires division,” she writes in her book. “It is the only way he knows how to survive – my grandfather ensured that decades ago when he turned his children against each other.”
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