Donald Trump’s sister described the US president as cruel and a liar whose lack of principles meant he could not be trusted, according to secretly made recordings published on Saturday.
It was the latest unflattering insider account to target the president – only instead of a jilted aide or business associate, it was from one of his closest relatives.
Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, slammed her brother over his immigration policy that saw children separated from their parents at the border and sent to detention centres.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” she said in recordings first reported by The Washington Post and then obtained by The Associated Press.
“He has no principles. None.
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“His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God.”
The recordings were secretly made by the president’s niece Mary Trump, who last month published a bombshell memoir of the “toxic family” that produced him.
The president’s younger brother Robert, who died last week, went to court to try to block its publication, arguing that Mary was violating a non-disclosure agreement signed in 2001 after the settlement of her grandfather’s estate, but to no avail.
About 950,000 copies of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man were sold on the day of the memoir’s release, with the White House calling it a “book of falsehoods”.
Mary said on Saturday that she made the recordings in 2018 and 2019.
At one point in the recordings, Ms Trump Barry said to her niece: “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
The recordings came to light just a day after Robert was memorialised in a service at the White House. Later, the president was dismissive of the recordings.