A new book written by Donald Trump's niece has exposed several shocking characteristics and from the president's life that he would have probably preferred to have kept under wraps.
Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man which is written by Dr Mary L Trump, the 55-year-old niece of the president, has sent shockwaves across Washington, with the Trump family even attempting to get it banned from being published.
And the White House isn't happy either. Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Kellyanne Conway, the counsellor for the president, said:
He's not her patient, he's her uncle. As for books generally, obviously they're not fact checked, nobody's under oath. I know there's always this rush to slap credibility on whoever's getting the president that day. Family matters are family matters.
Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's press secretary, also said that the revelations in the book were 'absurd' despite not yet seeing it.
That being said, what is actually in the book that has gotten the US talking and the president so shaken?
Well, if you can think about the worst traits a person (let alone the president) could possess, such as cheating, dishonesty, and narcissism then multiply that by 100, you have an accurate picture of the portrait that Mary paints of the president in her book.
Here are some of the most shocking claims about Trump:
He paid someone to sit his SATs for him
Perhaps the most shocking part of the entire book is a claim that Trump didn't sit his own SAT exams which helped him achieve a place at the prestigious Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mary Trump claims that when he was a high school student in Queens, New York, he paid someone to take the exam for him.
That person, who is reportedly named Joe Shapiro, scored highly on the precollegiate test and thus earned Trump his position at one of the best schools in the United States, something that he often likes to brag about.
After learning this, people immediately began trying to find out who the person was who sat the tests for Trump.
He got his sister to do his homework for him
Getting someone else to sit a test for him shouldn't be that surprising when you learn that Trump didn't even do his own homework.
According to Mary, he got his eldest sister Maryanne Trump Barry, to do his homework for him while he was a student at Fordham University in the Bronx.
To be honest, he'd hardly be the first person to coax a sibling into doing school work for them but this is hardly something that the POTUS would want to be revealed about himself.
His sister thinks he's 'a clown'
Speaking of Maryanne, who is a federal appeals court judge, she allegedly doesn't hold a high opinion of her brother at all.
She reportedly told Mary in 2015, shortly after Trump announced he was running for president:
He’s a clown – this will never happen.
She also expressed amazement that Christians had given him such strong support as he was hardly a churchgoer.
The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. It’s mind-boggling. But that’s all about his base. He has no principles. None!
He told Melania that Mary took drugs because he likes 'comeback stories'
Not long after Trump began dating the future first lady, Melania, she was introduced to Mary at a Father’s Day celebration at Trump Tower in 1998. Trump allegedly began his introduction by telling Melania that Mary had written his book The Art of the Comeback before falsely claiming that she had taken drugs after she dropped out of college.
You dropped out of college, right? It was really bad for a while – and then she started doing drugs. [He] loved comeback stories, and he understood that the deeper the hole you crawled out of, the better billing your triumphant comeback would get.
By conflating my dropping out of college and his hiring me to write his book (while throwing in a fictional drug addiction), he concocted a better story that somehow had him playing the role of my saviour. The story was for his benefit as much as anybody else's, and by the time the doorbell rang, he probably already believed his version of events
Trump is really not great at giving Christmas presents
Despite starring in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Trump doesn't seem to have a great grasp on the true spirit of Christmas.
Mary recalls one Christmas at the Trump household when the president's former wife Ivana appeared to regift her a "gold lamé shoe" with a four-inch heel filled with hard candy, wrapped in cellophane. This bizarre present left Mary truly puzzled and if would appear that Trump didn't know anything about it at all. She writes:
Donald came through the pantry from the kitchen. As he passed me, he asked, ‘What’s that?’
She simply replied:
It’s a present from you.
Other great Christmas presents that Mary received from the Trump's include a $12 pack of underwear and a cellophane-wrapped gift basket containing olives, salami with an item that had been removed which was most likely caviar.
His own brother died in hospital alone while Trump went to see a movie
One of the saddest parts of the book was the demise and eventual death of Trump's eldest brother Fred Trump Jr, who never quite lived up to his father's standards, Fred Trump Sr.
Fred, or Freddy, was said to be a handsome man but also a heavy drinker (apparently the reason why the president is teetotal), but his father was often critical of him, belittling him in front of other employees at his father's company, reportedly yelling "Donald is worth 10 of you."
Mary writes that the truly saddening element of this story was that on the night of his death in 1981, of an alcohol-induced heart attack, Fred, aged 42, was sent to hospital alone and no one went with him. Mary adds that Trump went to see a movie on the same night.
Jared Kushner's father thought he could do better than Ivanka
Mary's book doesn't just focus on the president, it also looks at his kids too and their partners too.
In a particularly scathing part of the book, she recounts attending the wedding of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2009 at Trump’s Bedminster golf course.
During the groom's father's speech, Charles Kushner revealed that he only approved of his son marrying Ivanka after she converted to Judaism. Mary writes:
Considering that Charles had been convicted of hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, taping their illicit encounter, and then sending the recording to his sister at his nephew’s engagement party, I found his condescension a bit out of line.
He complimented his own niece's breasts... yes, really
We all know the sexual allegations surrounding Trump and his treatment of women, and it's nothing new that his objectification of women extends to his own family, given the bizarre comments he's made about his daughter ivanka.
Mary describes an incident at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in the 1990s where Trump saw her wearing a bathing suit. His immediate response to his 29-year-old niece was to say:
Holy s**t, Mary. You’re stacked.
That sounds like something Rodney Dangerfield would have said in Caddyshack, not the future president of the United States. Mary adds:
I was 29 and not easily embarrassed but my face reddened and I suddenly felt self-conscious. I pulled my towel around my shoulders.
He's a narcissist
Perhaps the most unsurprising revelation in the book is that Trump loves himself, which is something most of the planet could have probably guessed.
However, as a clinical psychologist, Mary Trump's assessment of her uncle is probably more medically accurate than your average political commentator. In a stark warning to the American electorate she writes:
If he is afforded a second term, it would be the end of American democracy. Nothing is ever enough. This is far beyond garden-variety narcissism; Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be. Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he’ll never sit for.
Looking at it this way, it doesn't seem at all surprising that Trump really really did not want this book published.