Unpacking Mary Trump’s Tell-All Book

Copies are out of Trump’s niece’s book and it’s not pretty.

“Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” is Mary Trump’s account of the toxic environment of the Trump family, where Donald escaped his father’s scorn and ridicule, Mary Trump wrote, because “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.”

Mary Trump paints father Fred as a domineering figure who heaped scorn on her father, Freddy, as Donald learned how to avoid the scorn by lying, as all of Fred Trump’s children did. Where her father lied defensively to survive, for Donald “lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was,” she writes.

Mary says her father was sensitive, adventurous, and humorous, but was perceived by his father as “soft.” Donald, 7 1/2 years younger learned his disrespect of his older brother from his father, and tormented his brother Robert as well.

Donald repeatedly hid his brother’s favorite toys, a set of Tonka trucks he received for Christmas, and pretended he didn’t know where they had gone. When Robert threw a tantrum, “Donald threatened to dismantle the trucks in front of him if he didn’t stop crying.”

Trump has admitted to regrets about the pressure put on Freddy to stay in the family business. He soon turned to alcoholism, and died at 41.

After Mary’s father died, the family agreed to support Mary and her brother, Fred III. But when grandfather Fred died, Mary and her brother did not get the settlement they had expected, the equivalent of what would have been their father’s share. It is when they eventually reached a settlement of this inheritance that the confidentialilty agreement was signed.

“Donald, following the lead of my grandfather and with the complicity, silence and inaction of his siblings, destroyed my father. I can’t let him destroy my country,” Mary Trump wrote in the book.

  • Among other tidbits, Mary reveals that Trump paid someone to take his SAT tests to get into the University of Pennsylvania, and paid him well.
  • She describes Fred Trump’s support of Donald as critical to his branding himself “master of the universe” with a preternatural ability for business. “His comfort with portraying that image, along with his father’s favor and the material security his father’s wealth afforded him, gave him the unearned confidence to pull off what even at the beginning was a charade: selling himself not just as a rich playboy but as a brilliant, self-made businessman.
  • Fred also primed Donald to be drawn to authoritarians such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un with the “ability to flatter and the power to enrich” him.
  • Donald’s sister Maryanne called him a “clown” when he began running for president and said he was using Freddy Trump’s death as a political stunt while addressing the opioid crisis.

Of course there’s more, but this comes from CNN and the Washington Post. It seems it never ends.