By Josh Lederman and Dareh Gregorian
A new book by President Donald Trump’s niece — which his family sued to stop from being published — paints the president as an emotionally damaged narcissist who’s cheated to get ahead and who is unable to “experience the entire spectrum of human emotion.”
“Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he’ll never sit for,” Mary Trump writes in her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”
NBC News obtained a copy of the book. Her publisher describes the author as a clinical psychologist.
Among the revelations and allegations:
- Mary Trump paints Donald Trump’s father Fred Trump as emotionally abusive and says he caused lasting damage to both her father, Fred Trump Jr., and to the future president, his younger brother. “The only reason Donald escaped the same fate is that his personality served his father’s purpose. 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,” she wrote. “Fred destroyed Donald, too, but not by snuffing him out as he did Freddy; instead, he short-circuited Donald’s 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.”
- Donald Trump had no issue cheating his way to success. He would have his sister Maryanne do his homework for him, and hired a ringer to take his SAT test for him, the book says.”To hedge his bets (Donald) enlisted Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him. That was much easier to pull off in the days before photo IDs and computerized records. Donald, who never lacked for funds, paid his buddy well,” Mary Trump wrote.
- “For some of the Trump kids, lying was a way of life, and for Fred’s oldest son, lying was defensive – not simply a way to circumvent his father’s disapproval or to avoid punishment, as it was for the others, but a way to survive,” Mary Trump wrote. “For Donald, lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was.”
- After her father had the heart attack that would kill him, Mary Trump said Donald Trump didn’t go with him to the hospital and didn’t go to visit, and instead had “gone to the movies.”
- Mary Trump acknowledged helping The New York Times with its prize-winning investigation into the president’s tax history. “I hadn’t fully grasped how much of a risk I was taking. If anybody in my family found out what I was doing, there would be repercussions — I knew how vindictive they were – but there was no way to gauge how serious the consequences might be,” she wrote. “I had to take Donald down.”
- Donald Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Berry, wasn’t exactly supportive of his 2016 campaign. “He’s a clown,” the now-retired federal court judge told Mary, according to the book. “This will never happen.” Mary said she told her aunt she couldn’t believe people were buying his claim that he was a self-made man, and questioned what he’d ever accomplished on his own. “Well,” the aunt replied, “he has had five bankruptcies.”
- A devout Catholic, Berry was irate that evangelicals were supporting her brother, and questioned what was “wrong with them.” “The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. It’s mind-boggling. He has no principles. None!” the book quotes Trump’s sister as saying.
The president’s brother, Robert Trump, went to court last month to stop the book from being published, arguing it violated a non-disclosure agreement that Mary Trump signed back in 2001.
The agreement was part of a settlement in an ugly court fight that Mary Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, had launched over their grandfather’s estate. Mary and Fred’s father, Fred Trump Jr., had died in 1984, and they said they had been shortchanged in his will thanks to the family’s machinations.
The court fight included allegations that Donald Trump and his two surviving siblings cut off family medical coverage for Mary and her brother, who was married and had a young child with a neurological disorder.
“When he sued us, we said, ‘Why should we give him medical coverage?'” Donald Trump told New York Daily News then, referring to Fred Trump III.
In an interview with Axios last month, the president said the NDA his niece signed is “very powerful” and “covers everything.” “She’s not allowed to write a book,” he said.
A New York state judge initially agreed, issuing a temporary restraining order to stop the book’s publication, but a state appeals court reversed that order. The publisher, Simon & Schuster, moved up the publication date by two weeks, from July 28 to July 14, citing the “high demand and extraordinary interest in this book.”
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews pushed back on some of Mary Trump’s allegations on Tuesday.
“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,” she said in a statement.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters she had not yet seen the book, but called it “a book of falsehoods.