Plus, four other disturbing details from Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man.

By Kaelyn Forde
Jul 14, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
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The president’s only niece, Mary L. Trump, PhD, has penned a 240-page tell-all book, out July 14, explaining how her “toxic family” created the man who has overseen a coronavirus crisis that has killed more than 135,000 Americans, an economy wracked by Great Depression-levels of unemployment, and a violent response to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. Essentially, she paints Donald Trump as that inappropriate uncle the family can barely tolerate at holiday dinners — and the family that made him that way barely any better.

“No one knows how Donald came to be who he is better than his own family,” Mary Trump writes. “Unfortunately, almost all of them remain silent out of loyalty or fear. I’m not hindered by either of those.”

Mary, the daughter of Donald Trump’s deceased older brother, Fred Trump Jr., based the book on her own memories as well as conversations and interviews with her family members. Some of the alleged incidents are merely tacky (his first wife, Ivana’s, penchant for regifting, for example) while others are deeply dangerous (a family that valued a “killer” instinct and saw cheating as a way of life). This isn’t the first time Mary attempted to tell her uncle’s story; she writes that when she was in her late 20s, Donald actually hired her to ghostwrite The Art of the Comeback, refusing to sit down for an interview but providing her with a “stream-of-consciousness” recording about women he wanted to date instead.

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Now, decades later, Mary, a trained psychologist, has penned Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man which pulls back the curtain on what she calls the Trumps’ cruelty and traumas, starting with “my grandfather’s sociopathy and my grandmother’s illnesses, both physical and psychological,” which left neither Donald nor his four siblings — Fred, Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert — “unscathed.”

The White House press secretary has previously said Mary’s book is full of “falsehoods,” and Donald’s younger brother, Robert Trump, unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit to block it from being published. But on Monday, a New York judge ruled against Robert, allowing the book to hit shelves. Naturally, we grabbed a copy. Here are five of the wildest things we learned.

Donald kept a list of women who refused to date him.

Mary writes that when she was in her late 20s, Donald called her from his private jet and asked her to ghostwrite The Art of the Comeback. Mary eagerly accepted, and was given a desk in a back office at the Trump Organization. But Donald brushed off his niece’s requests to interview him, instead having her sit in on phone calls about golf, gossip, and women he took on speakerphone or watch him pore through the newspaper clippings that mentioned his name which he had delivered daily, she alleges.

“One night, as I sat at home trying to figure out how to piece together something vaguely interesting out of the uninteresting documents I’d been poring over,” Mary writes,  she got a message from Donald’s assistant that he’d be sending pages over soon. “‘I’ve been working on material for the book. It’s really good,’” Mary remembers Donald telling her over the phone.

But when Mary opened the folder containing a 10-page transcript of a recording Donald had made, she realized it wasn’t about business. “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,” Mary writes. “The biggest takeaways were that Madonna chewed gum in a way Donald found unattractive, and that Katarina Witt, a German Olympic figure skater who had won two gold medals and four world championships, had big calves. I stopped asking him for an interview.”

The Trump children were abandoned by their mother and neglected by their father.

Mary writes that following Robert’s birth, Donald’s mother, who was also named Mary Trump, suffered health complications that resulted in a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. “During and after her surgeries, Mary’s absence — both literal and emotional — created a void in the lives of her children,” Mary writes, which she says was felt most acutely by 2-year-old Donald and 9-month-old Robert.

Fred Trump Sr. was a “high-functioning sociopath,” Mary alleges, who saw his children’s need for attachment and love as weakness. Fred relied on his oldest child, Maryanne, to care for the other four, even though she was only 12. “In order to cope, Donald began to develop powerful but primitive defenses, marked by an increasing hostility to others and a seeming indifference to his mother's absence and his father’s neglect,” Mary concludes. For Donald, that led to a pattern of acting like he doesn’t have any emotional needs, behaviors that were replaced by “bullying, disrespect, and aggressiveness.”

The Trumps were a “misogynistic” family with anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic views.

“Even for the 1950s, the family was split deeply along gender lines,” Mary writes of Donald’s family of origin, and “it’s clear that Fred and his wife were never partners.” Fred dismissed his daughters entirely, according to Mary, and focused his ambitions on his two oldest sons. Her book alleges that “casual dehumanization of people was commonplace at the Trump dinner table,” including branding women as “ugly fat slobs” and men as “losers.” Her grandfather, Fred Sr., also “frequently used phrases such as ‘Jew me down,’” Mary writes.

When Donald went to work for his father in 1968, “besides being driven around Manhattan by a chauffeur whose salary his father’s company paid, in a Cadillac his father’s company leased to ‘scope out properties,’ Donald’s job description seems to have included lying about his ‘accomplishments’ and allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Black people,” Mary writes, adding that such actions would later become the subject of a Justice Department lawsuit against Fred Sr. and Donald.

Mary, who is a lesbian, also hid her sexuality from her family. A week before she was planning to secretly marry her girlfriend on a beach in Maui in 1999, she found herself at the hospital with the rest of her family as her grandfather lay dying. She decided to tell no one of her wedding plans, remembering that years earlier, her grandmother (Donald’s mother) had used a homophobic slur when referring to Elton John. “I’d realized it was better that she didn’t know I was living with and engaged to a woman,” Mary writes.

She adds that she wasn’t surprised at what she calls Donald’s “blatant racism” on the campaign trail or how he disparaged Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman” and mocked a disabled New York Times reporter. “In fact, I was reminded of every family meal I’d ever attended during which Donald had talked about all of the women he considered ugly fat slobs or the men, usually more accomplished or powerful, he called losers while my grandfather and Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert all laughed and joined in.”

Donald’s sister considered him a “clown” who would never win the election.

When Donald announced he was running for president in 2015, Mary writes, the family figured “he simply wanted free publicity for his brand.” The book alleges that Trump’s oldest sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a federal judge, quipped to her niece that his five bankruptcies were the only thing Donald had done on his own.

“‘He’s a clown,’ my aunt Maryanne said during one of our regular lunches at the time. ‘This will never happen.’” Mary also quotes Maryanne, a devout Catholic, as saying Donald “has no principles” when it comes to religion, despite his support from white evangelicals.

Mary writes that her aunt's position as a federal judge prevented her from speaking out publicly against him, but that ahead of Donald’s 2018 meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Maryanne “called the White House and left a message with his secretary: ‘Tell him his older sister called with a little sisterly advice. Prepare. Learn from those who know what they are doing. Stay away from Dennis Rodman. And leave his Twitter at home.’”

Donald ogled his niece during a trip to Mar-a-Lago.

Mary writes that she traveled to Donald’s Palm Beach mansion with him while working on his book. She met her uncle and Marla Maples, his second wife, for lunch after going for a swim. Since it was an informal environment, she kept her swimwear and shorts on for lunch out on the patio. Of that encounter, she writes: "Donald, who was wearing golf clothes, looked up at me as I approached as if he’d never really seen me before. ‘Holy shit, Mary. You’re stacked.’ ‘Donald!’ Marla said in mock horror, slapping him lightly on the arm. I was 29 and not easily embarrassed, but my face reddened, and I suddenly felt self-conscious.”

Mary’s work ghostwriting Donald’s book ultimately ended soon after, when she says his editor at Random House took her out to lunch to tell her they were hiring someone with more experience. “I didn’t even mind that Donald had somebody else fire me. The project had hit a wall,” Mary writes. “Besides, after all the time I had spent in his office, I still had no idea what he actually did.”