That lawsuit was a joke; as a New York court found, Mary Trump’s publisher is not a party to her contract with her family, and therefore it is free to publish her book. And there’s presumably a remedy in that NDA, in the form of Mary Trump paying a penalty if she violates it. Just like anyone who signs an NDA, she can choose to violate it, and then pay. That doesn’t mean the family can get the courts to shut her up.
But all that is of less concern to the rest of us than what she has to say. And now we know, because in advance of the publication date (already moved up to July 14, two weeks ahead of schedule), copies have been given to reporters at multiple news outlets, including The Post.
And while some tell-all books don’t deliver much that’s surprising, Mary Trump has some very interesting information to impart, boosted by the fact that as a clinical psychologist, she can offer insights into how President Trump got to be the person he is.
Here are some of the highlights:
- She claims Trump hired a smarter boy he knew to take the SAT for him; the high score helped get him into college.
- She describes Trump’s father, Fred, as not just domineering but a “sociopath.” He was verbally abusive to his children, especially Fred Jr., insisting that they become “killers” unhindered by emotion. “Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it,” she writes.
- Her father, Fred Jr., came in for particular contempt from Fred Sr. for being soft. “The lesson [President Trump] learned, at its simplest, was that it was wrong to be like Freddy: Fred didn’t respect his oldest son, so neither would Donald.”
- When Fred Sr. died, Mary was told his estate was worth only around $30 million; the portion of that figure that became her inheritance was the subject of the dispute that led to a financial settlement and her NDA. She later gave Fred Sr.’s business records to the New York Times, which published a blockbuster story showing that the patriarch had transferred over $1 billion to his children (a scheme mostly carried out after Fred Jr.’s death), potentially defrauding the U.S. government of half a billion dollars in tax revenue.
- On a trip to Mar-a-Lago when she was 29, Mary came out in a bathing suit and shorts. “Holy s--t, Mary. You’re stacked,” her uncle said to her, with all the grace and sensitivity we’ve come to expect from him.
- For a time, Trump hired Mary to ghost-write his book “The Art of the Comeback.” At one point a Trump employee sent her some pages of material Trump wanted to include in the book. “It was 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,” including Madonna and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt.
- At a White House dinner in 2017, the president gestured toward his son Eric’s wife; the two at that point had been together for eight years. “I barely even knew who the f--- she was, honestly, but then she gave a great speech during the campaign in Georgia supporting me,” Trump said.
- “Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and Mitch McConnell, all of whom bear more than a passing psychological resemblance to Fred,” Mary writes, “recognized … that Donald’s checkered personal history and his unique personality flaws make him extremely vulnerable to manipulation by smarter, more powerful men.”
Though Mary Trump’s book won’t be out for another week, it has already reached No. 4 on Amazon, behind John Bolton’s book and two books about racism. While we can’t rerun the history, there’s a strong chance that the Trump family’s attempt to suppress “Too Much and Never Enough” only brought it more attention; there’s nothing more intriguing than something someone doesn’t want you to see.
And while these details of President Trump’s life may not change anyone’s mind about whether they want to vote for him, they will be of significant historical interest. In the future, we’re going to ask not just how Trump got to be president but what could have produced such a man in the first place.
In Mary Trump’s account, if the future president ever possessed any virtues as a human being, they were eradicated by a cruel father who wanted to make his children just as ruthless as he was. She calls him the “monster” Fred Sr. created, someone who “would ultimately be rendered unlovable by the very nature of Fred’s preference for him."
“In the end, there would be no love for Donald at all, just his agonizing thirsting for it,” she writes.
Somehow, through a combination of timing, his party’s pathologies, and dumb luck, Trump became the most powerful person on earth. And every new thing we learn about him only increases the horror.
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