Mary Trump’s publicity tour promoting her new tell-all family memoir “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” continues to make ugly headlines for her embattled uncle, President Donald Trump.
In an interview with Rachel Maddow Thursday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the host asked Mary Trump if she’s ever heard President Trump use racist or anti-Semitic slurs, or express other racist sentiments.
“Yeah, of course I did,” Mary Trump replied. “And I don’t think that should surprise anybody, given how virulently racist he is today.”
Maddow clarified, “Have you heard the president use the N-word?”
“Yeah,” Mary Trump said with a nod.
“And anti-Semitic slurs specifically?” Maddow pressed.
“Yes,” Mary Trump confirmed.
Mary Trump said such language was common in her extended family and was especially prevalent among the older generations of Trumps, “as if it were perfectly commonplace and ordinary to say such things,” she said. “I didn’t share their ideas about race and Judaism at all. But you know, when you grow up with that being perfectly normal, you don’t really think twice about it.”
MSNBC reached out to the White House for comment. They replied: “This is a book of falsehoods, plain and simple. The president doesn’t use those words.”
President Trump, who had been quiet about Mary Trump, took to Twitter Friday to vent his frustrations with both her and his former National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose book “The Room Where It Happened” has topped USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books List since its release last month.
President Trump tweeted, “I am the ultimate member of The Book of the Month Club. First I have lowlife dummy John Bolton, a war mongering fool, violating the law (he released massive amounts of Classified Information) and an NDA in order to build badly needed credibility and make a few dollars, which will all end up going to the government anyway.”
He went on to say, “Next up is Mary Trump, a seldom seen niece who knows little about me, says untruthful things about my wonderful parents (who couldn’t stand her!) and me, and violated her NDA. She also broke the Law by givng (sic) out my Tax Returns. She’s a mess! Many books have been written about me, some good, some bad. Both happily and sadly, there will be more to come!”
Shortly after those tweets Friday evening, Mary Trump appeared on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” with host Chris Cuomo, who asked for her reaction. Mary Trump rejected the president’s contention that she violated her NDA and that she gave the president’s tax returns to reporters (documents she says she’s never possessed). She also denied that she was “seldom seen” by the extended Trump family.
“We spent huge amounts of time in that house growing up and Donald was there frequently,” Mary Trump said. “We spent every holiday together pretty much until my grandfather died in 1999.”
As for the president calling her a mess? “I think it’s an attack he hurls, predominantly at women, and honestly I’m in very good company. I believe he said the same thing about Nancy Pelosi,” Mary Trump said. “I’m fine with that.”
In her interview with Maddow, Mary Trump said she was reluctant to speak up during the 2016 election, fearing she would be dismissed by the public as a disgruntled, estranged family member. She also said she thought that after his inauguration, Donald Trump would be surrounded “by more competent people who understood how government worked and they would protect him and us from his worst impulses. Clearly, I was wrong to make that assumption.”
What changed her mind and convinced her to write the book?
“I can’t say there was a last straw because there have been so many straws, but certainly the horrors at the border, separating children from their parents, the torture, the kidnapping and the incarceration of them in cages was unthinkable, unbearable,” Mary Trump said. “When an opportunity presented itself to me to do something, I needed to take a leap.”
Mary Trump also had some choice criticisms for her uncle’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want people to understand what a failure of leadership this is, and the reason he’s failing at it is because he’s incapable of succeeding at it,” Mary Trump said. “It would have required taking responsibility – which would, in his mind, have meant admitting a mistake, which, in his mind, would be admitting weakness, which in my family was essentially punished with the death penalty, symbolic or otherwise. What I think we need to grapple with now is why so many people are continuing to allow this.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of the interview’s airing, nearly 137,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19. “The vast majority of those people did not need to lose their lives,” Mary Trump said. “It is utterly insane at this point. We need to wake up. And instead of taking it seriously, instead of standing aside and letting the experts take over, Donald is hawking black beans,” she added, referencing a much-criticized Instagram photo posted Wednesday that shows the president sitting in the Oval Office with a line of Goya products across his desk after the company’s CEO, Robert Unanue, publicly praised him. “It would be absurd if it weren’t so devastating.”
Mary Trump’s parting shot was a warning against reelecting her uncle for a second term. “Continuing along this path, which is exactly what would happen if Donald were to be elected in 2020, would, I absolutely believe, be the end of the American experiment,” she said.
“Too Much and Never Enough” paints an ugly, dysfunctional portrait of the Trump family, which Mary Trump says was twisted by her grandfather Fred Trump, a prominent New York City real estate developer who ruled his household with an iron fist under a dark, oppressive cloud of psychological and emotional abuse. It drove the eldest son and Mary Trump’s father, Freddy Trump, to alcoholism and an early death, she argues.
The book, which went on sale Tuesday, is already breaking records. Thanks to combined pre-sales and first-day sales of print, ebooks and e-audiobooks, the book has sold more than 950,000 copies on its first official day of sales, a company record, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.
Contributing: Mary Cadden