Revenge, as Mary Trump seems well aware, is a dish best served cold. Twenty years after a bitter familial feud over her grandfather’s will, Donald Trump’s niece looks like she is finally about to wreak vengeance on her uncle.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Mary, 55, who is the daughter of Donald’s late brother Fred Trump Jr, has written a “harrowing and salacious” book about the president. Too Much and Never Enough will be published in the US on 28 July, a month before the Republican National Convention. The timing is clearly designed to do maximum damage.
Why the bad blood? Well, for one thing, Mary reportedly blames Donald for mistreating her alcoholic father – behaviour she believes contributed to his death from a heart attack at the age of 42. Then there was the fight over Fred Trump Sr’s estate in 2000. Mary and her brother, Fred Trump III, claimed they were dealt with unfairly in their grandfather’s will as a result of “fraud and undue influence” by Donald and two of his siblings. The ill will is said to have escalated when Donald, in retaliation for the lawsuit, cut off medical insurance for Fred III’s seriously ill infant son, who required round-the-clock care. Fred III was quoted as saying: “Our family puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional.”
Dysfunctional is an understatement. The appearance-obsessed Trumps project an image of unity, but, behind the polished facade, they seem to loathe and distrust each other. This is not surprising, considering that one of Donald’s favourite mantras to his kids growing up was reportedly: “Don’t trust anyone.” According to a GQ profile of Donald Trump Jr, the president used to ask his children whether they trusted him. When they replied: “Of course,” he would tell them off for not learning their lesson. Maybe he had a point: Mary’s book (which is also said to contain “damning” comments from Donald’s sister, the retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry) marks the first time a Trump has written a critical tell-all about the president, but I would be surprised if it were the last time one of his own undermined him. The question is: which Trump will turn on the president next?
Donald probably does not need to worry much about his oldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr: they seem too stupid to be scheming. (Years of unfettered hair gel abuse may have rotted their brains.) Ivanka, however, seems more than capable of sacrificing dear daddy to advance her ambitions. Indeed, an interesting feature of Trump’s presidency has been the frequent “leaks” to the press declaring how Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are diligently working behind the scenes to exert a moderating influence on the president. If these mysterious leaks are to be believed, Javanka have saved us from Donald’s worst instincts.