Sunday, August 23, 2020
WASHINGTON — Maryanne Trump Barry, President Trump’s older sister and a former federal judge, described him as a liar who has “no principles” in a series of audio recordings made by her niece, Mary L. Trump, in 2018 and 2019.
The recordings were provided to The Washington Post, which published them onlineSaturday night. In the recording, Ms. Barry can be heard disparaging her brother’s performance as president.
“His goddamned tweet and the lying, oh, my God,” she says in one of the recordings posted by the newspaper. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying.”
Ms. Trump is the author of the recently published book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” In it, she recounted how Mr. Trump’s upbringing turned him into what she called a reckless leader.
The audio recordings contain observations from Ms. Barry that do not appear in Ms. Trump’s book. According to The Post, Ms. Trump secretly recorded 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with Ms. Barry about the president and his upbringing. The paper said Ms. Trump provided transcripts and audio excerpts.
In a statement provided by a White House spokesman, Mr. Trump dismissed the accusations and referred to the recent death of his younger brother, Robert S. Trump. “Every day it’s something else, who cares,” the president said. “I miss my brother, and I’ll continue to work hard for the American people. Not everyone agrees, but the results are obvious. Our country will soon be stronger than ever before.”
In one conversation published by The Post, Ms. Barry tells Ms. Trump what ended up being one of the most explosive allegations in the book by the president’s niece: that Mr. Trump cheated to get into college by having someone else take the SAT for him.
“He went to Fordham for one year and then he got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams,” Ms. Barry told Ms. Trump. “SATs or whatever. That’s what I believe,” she said.
Ms. Barry, who was appointed to the federal bench by Ronald W. Reagan, says in one conversation that the president helped her get that appointment by asking his lawyer, Roy Cohn, to urge Mr. Reagan to appoint more female judges. Ms. Barry says the president once said to her, “Where would you be without me?”
“You say that one more time and I will level you,” Ms. Barry said she told her younger brother at the time. She said she was angry that he was trying to “take credit” for her accomplishments as a judge.
Ms. Barry has refrained from commenting publicly about her brother during his presidency, but the audio recordings make it clear that she does not approve of his actions or his character. In one recording, she calls him “a brat.” In another, she says he “doesn’t read.”
The Post says that in one conversation, the audio of which was not posted on its website, Ms. Barry criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents when they tried to cross the border from Mexico.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Ms. Barry told Ms. Trump, according to the paper. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”