Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump was both calm and sensational at the Canberra Writers Festival this morning (Friday 14 August) as Radio National host Fran Kelly probed her on her recent book, an expose on the inter-generational wounds and abusive relationships within the Trump family and how they groomed today’s most powerful man in the world.
Speaking from her Long Island home in New York, the author of ‘Too Much and Never Enough – How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’, told the restricted capacity audience she had been discouraged to write the book as the shelves were already stacked with Donald Trump biographies.
But those authors don’t have Mary’s unique perspective as a family insider, the first Trump family member to publicly criticise the President, and a PhD in clinical psychology.
Her book sold more than 950,000 copies in pre-orders before it was published.
As the daughter of Donald’s older brother, Fred Junior, Mary paints a picture of a family rotting from the head (her grandfather Fred Trump Senior) and, with authority, lays out the case for Fred Senior to be labelled a sociopath and an abusive father.
Her deep dive into the Trump family history through a psychological lens is endlessly engaging as was Fran Kelly’s exploration of the author at the National Press Club today.
Mary spoke to the motivation behind writing the book and answered questions of its timing.
Why didn’t she speak out earlier?
Mary told festival goers she didn’t “for a second believe” her uncle would win the Republican presidential nomination but, when he did, it was in the face of so many scandals, she thought her word against his popularity and power was useless.
Since releasing the book last month, Mary’s cousin and Donald’s son, Eric Trump has criticised her as a family outsider, inspired by revenge for being left out of her grandfather’s will.
Event host Fran Kelly raised this criticism, but Mary rejected it and said she spent a lot of time with the family until the death of her father and felt “justice” was a more accurate concept than “revenge”.
Beyond the book, she spoke to her knowledge of her Uncle Donald and his view of women.
“He thinks all women are housewives,” she said.
“He has a problem with powerful women, particularly women of colour.”
Mary said the nomination of Kamala Harris as the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate would enrage the “sexist and racist” president.
“We’ve already seen it; Donald has already started calling her “nasty” which was the word Fred used to describe women.”
Fran Kelly asked Mary how she thought Donald would handle losing the election and if he would accept the result.
“If it’s close, we are in trouble,” Mary answered.
Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, published last month and set a new sales record for publisher Simon & Schuster. It is at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list and is already an international bestseller: #1 in Canada, Ireland, the UK and the USA, and #2 in Australia.
The Canberra Writers Festival is on 12-16 August. More information: canberrawritersfestival.com.au