Last Wednesday, a New York appellate court lifted the temporary restraining order against Simon & Schuster, a decision that allows the publisher to move forward with printing copies of the book publish Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump, Donald Trump’s niece, and shipping them to retailers. The court left the temporary restraining order in place for Mary Trump until a hearing on July 10. Court sides with publisher of tell-all book by Trump’s niece.
The U.S. Supreme Court has never approved prior restraint of speech, as Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) profanely explains to the waitress in this scene from The Big Lebowski (1998).
Ahead of the July 10 hearing, Mary Trump filed a pleading with the court that says the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) she signed years ago was based upon fraudulent financial information, and therefore is unenforceable. Trump’s niece says 2001 NDA based on ‘fraudulent’ financial information:
In an affidavit filed on Thursday, she said: “The New York Times’s detailed analysis and investigation revealed for the first time that the valuations on which I had relied in entering into the settlement agreement, and which were used to determine my compensation under the agreement, were fraudulent.
“I relied on the false valuations provided to me by my uncles and aunt, and would never have entered into the agreement had I known the true value of the assets involved.”
Donald Trump’s surviving siblings are Robert Trump, a businessman; Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired judge; and Elizabeth Trump Grau, a retired banker.
“I never believed that the settlement agreement resolving discrete financial disputes could possibly restrict me from telling the story of my life or publishing a book,” Mary Trump said, “… including the conduct and character of my uncle, the sitting president of the United States, during his campaign for re-election, my aunt Maryanne, a former federal judge, or my uncle Robert, a prominent public figure.
“Moreover, my uncle, the president, has spoken out about our family and the will dispute on numerous occasions.”
Mary Trump’s lawyers also cited the president’s hunger for media coverage.
“President Trump himself has contributed to his and his family’s notoriety in a variety of ways,” they wrote, “including as the author of nearly 20 books on a variety of topics, including his family, his wealth, his businesses and his own life.
“Among the most notable of all the media coverage of the Trump family is a bombshell investigative piece published in the New York Times on 2 October 2018, describing schemes Donald Trump and his father employed to transfer nearly a half a billion dollars to Donald Trump, Robert Trump and Maryanne Trump Barry, while systematically evading their tax obligations.”
Robert Trump, the lawyers wrote, “is concerned that [Mary] Trump will reveal details about her dealings with the New York Times, her difficult relationship with her family, and the Trump family’s financial dealings. But all of those facts have been made public.
“Contemporaneous news reports surrounding [Mary] Trump’s suit 20 years ago laid bare the rancorous relationship between the Trump family and [Mary] Trump.”
I won’t predict what will happen on July 10, but if what Mary Trump says is true, she should be released from the ridiculous NDA that the Trump crime family uses to silence critics and accusers.
Today, Simon & Schuster announced that it is moving up the publication date to July 14 because of public interest in the book. Tell-all book by President Trump’s niece to be published two weeks earlier on July 14:
A highly anticipated book by Mary L. Trump, the niece of President Trump, will be published two weeks earlier than planned after a court last week allowed Simon & Schuster to continue distributing copies. The book will be published on July 14 because of intense interest in it, the publisher announced Monday.
“From this explosive book,” the news release said, “we learn how Donald acquired twisted behaviors and values” such as that “cheating is a way of life,” “taking responsibility for your failures is discouraged” and “qualities like empathy, kindness and expertise are punished.” It did not provide specifics, leaving that for the book’s publication.
The back cover of the book, also released Monday, said that “Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning or evolving.” It says that Donald Trump feared his father’s rejection and “suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.”
Early copies of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump are already in the hands of the news media today. The media feeding frenzy has already begun. Here is just a taste.
The New York Times reports, Mary Trump’s Book Accuses the President of Embracing ‘Cheating as a Way of Life’:
The book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” depicts a multigenerational saga of greed, betrayal and internecine tension and seeks to explain how President Trump’s position in one of New York’s wealthiest and most infamous real-estate empires helped him acquire what Ms. Trump has referred to as “twisted behaviors” — attributes like seeing other people in “monetary terms” and practicing “cheating as a way of life.”
Here are some of the highlights from her manuscript:
Cheating on a College Entrance Test
As a high school student in Queens, Ms. Trump writes, Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf. The high score the proxy earned for him, Ms. Trump adds, helped the young Mr. Trump to later gain admittance as an undergraduate to the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school.
Mr. Trump has often boasted about attending Wharton, which he has referred to as “the best school in the world” and “super genius stuff.”
Sending a Brother to the Hospital Alone
It has long been part of the Trump family’s lore that the eldest child of Fred Trump Sr., Fred Trump Jr., who was better known as Freddy, was the black sheep of the dynasty. Freddy Trump was a handsome, garrulous man and a heavy drinker who, after a miserable experience working for his father, left his job in real estate to pursue a passion for flying, becoming a pilot for Trans World Airlines.
Donald Trump has often remarked that his brother’s departure from the family business opened space for him to move into and succeed. “For me, it worked very well,” Mr. Trump told The New York Times during his presidential campaign about serving under his father. “For Fred, it wasn’t something that was going to work.”
Fred Trump Sr. could be brutal to his namesake, shouting at him once as a group of employees looked on, “Donald is worth ten of you,” Ms. Trump writes.
Freddy Trump died in 1981 from an alcohol-induced heart attack when he was 42, and Ms. Trump tells the story in her book about how his family sent him to the hospital alone on the night of his death. No one went with him, Ms. Trump writes.
Donald Trump, she added, went to see a movie.
“No Principles,” a Sister Says
Even at the start of Mr. Trump’s campaign, his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals court judge, had deep reservations about his fitness for office, Ms. Trump writes.
“He’s a clown — this will never happen,” she quotes her aunt as saying during one of their regular lunches in 2015, just after Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president.
Maryanne Trump was particularly baffled by support for her brother among evangelical Christians, according to the book.
“The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there,” Ms. Trump quotes her aunt as saying. “It’s mind boggling. But that’s all about his base. He has no principles. None!”
Donald Trump, Narcissist
Ms. Trump, a clinical psychologist, asserts that her uncle has all nine clinical criteria for being a narcissist. And yet, she notes, even that label does not capture the full array of the president’s psychological troubles.
“The fact is,” she writes, “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 neurophysical tests that he’ll never sit for.”
At another point she says: “Donald has been institutionalized for most of his adult life, so there is no way to know how he would thrive, or even survive, on his own in the real world.”
Like other critics of the president, Ms. Trump takes issue in the book with the notion that Mr. Trump is a strategic thinker who operates according to specific agendas or organizing principles.
“He doesn’t,” she writes. “Donald’s ego has been and is a fragile and inadequate barrier between him and the real world, which, thanks to his father’s money and power, he never had to negotiate by himself.”
The Washington Post reports, Trump’s worldview forged by neglect and trauma at home, his niece says in new book:
A tell-all book by President Trump’s niece describes a family riven by a series of traumas, exacerbated by a daunting patriarch who “destroyed” Donald Trump by short-circuiting his “ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion,” according to a copy of the forthcoming memoir obtained by The Washington Post.
President Trump’s view of the world was shaped by his desire during childhood to avoid his father’s disapproval, according to the niece, Mary L. Trump, whose book is by turns a family history and a psychological analysis of her uncle.
Mary Trump’s father, Fred Jr. — the president’s older brother — died of an alcohol-related illness when she was 16 years old in 1981. President Trump told The Post last year that he and his father both pushed Fred Jr. to try to go into the family business, which Trump said he now regrets.
Donald escaped his father’s scorn and ridicule, Mary Trump wrote, because “his personality served his father’s purpose. That’s what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance.”
The president, Mary Trump wrote, is a product of his domineering father and was acutely aware of avoiding the scorn that he heaped on his older brother, called Freddy, Trump writes.
“By limiting Donald’s access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it.”
Mary Trump wrote that her grandfather’s children routinely lied to him but for different reasons. For her father, “lying was defensive — not simply a way to circumvent his father’s disapproval or to avoid punishment, as it was for the others, but a way to survive.”
For her uncle Donald, however, “lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was,” Trump writes.
Mary wrote that her father had a “natural sense of humor, sense of adventure, and sensitivity,” which he worked hard to hide from the family patriarch.
“Softness was unthinkable in his namesake,” she writes.
“Fred [Sr.] hated it when his oldest son screwed up or failed to intuit what was required of him, but he hated it even more when, after being taken to task, Freddy apologized. ‘Sorry, Dad,’ ” Mary wrote of the way her grandfather treated her father. Fred Sr. “would mock him. Fred wanted his oldest son to be a ‘killer.’ ”
Donald, 7½ years younger than his brother, “had plenty of time to learn from watching Fred humiliate” his eldest son, Mary Trump wrote.
“The lesson he learned, at its simplest, was that it was wrong to be like Freddy: Fred didn’t respect his oldest son, so neither would Donald.”
Donald delighted in tormenting his younger brother, Robert, whom he perceived as weaker, Mary Trump writes. Donald repeatedly hid his brother’s favorite toys, a set of Tonka trucks he received for Christmas, and pretended he didn’t know where they had gone. When Robert threw a tantrum, “Donald threatened to dismantle the trucks in front of him if he didn’t stop crying.”
The book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” became an instant bestseller based on advance orders, underscoring the intense interest among the public about the forces that shaped the man who became president.
Mary Trump, 55, who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, shares a history of family tragedy and division with President Trump, especially her father’s death. Friends of her father told The Post last year that they questioned whether Donald and other members of the family bore some responsibility for Fred Jr.’s decline.
President Trump, who rarely admits mistakes, told The Post in an interview last year that he regrets the way he and his father pressured his brother to go into the family business instead of encouraging him to continue with his dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot.
“I do regret having put pressure on him,” Trump said. Running the family business “was just something he was never going to want” to do. “It was just not his thing. . . . I think the mistake that we made was we assumed that everybody would like it. That would be the biggest mistake. . . . There was sort of a double pressure put on him” by his brother and his father.
After her father died, the Trump family agreed to help support Mary and her brother, Fred III.
But when Mary’s grandfather Fred Sr. died in 1999, she and her brother did not get the inheritance they expected, a sum that might have equaled the amount that would have gone to their father, had he lived. Mary and Fred contested Fred Sr.’s will, contending that one or more people connected to the Trump family coerced him to change it and give them less money.
Fred and Mary eventually reached a settlement with Donald and his siblings, receiving an undisclosed amount and signing a confidentiality agreement. President Trump’s younger brother filed a petition in New York Supreme Court seeking to stop publication of the book on grounds that Mary had agreed not to publish an account about the family. But the court’s appellate division ruled last week that the publisher, Simon & Schuster, was not a party to that agreement and lifted a temporary restraining order against it.
As Donald Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, Mary Trump does not appear to have said anything publicly about him. But when it became clear that her uncle had won the presidency, she took to Twitter. “Worst night of my life,” she wrote at least 12 times in tweets that have been deleted recently. She wrote that “we should be judged harshly. . . . I grieve for our country.”
The publisher said it had already shipped thousands of copies, and it moved the publication to July 14, two weeks ahead of the original schedule. Mary Trump has sought to lift the temporary restraining order against her, and a decision on that could come within days.
The book is already released to the public, there is no stopping it, anymore than Trump could prevent former National Security Advisor John Bolton from publishing his tell-all book last month. The only question to be decided by the court is whether Mary Trump will be free to do a book tour to promote her book on all of the news shows and late night comedians.
Coming Attraction: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s “Melania and Me” is set for a Sept. 1 release, according to The Daily Beast. Former Melania Trump Confidante to Release an ‘Explosive’ Tell-All Before the Election:
According to people familiar with the project, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff—who was previously seen by the first lady as a loyal confidante who helped plan President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration in Washington, D.C.—will release a tell-all, Melania and Me, on Sept. 1.
People with knowledge of the project say the content of the book is largely negative and that the manuscript heavily trashes the first lady.
* * *
Before Vanity Fair reported on the upcoming tell-all on Monday evening, the book was being teased online to little, if any, fanfare, though perhaps clandestinely or unintentionally so. On Monday morning, Wolkoff’s work was already available for pre-sale on Amazon, and Google searches at the time revealed that pre-announcement placeholder webpages existed for it, featured on Google Books and Simon & Schuster’s own website.
As of Monday afternoon, the Google Books item read that the book, labeled “Untitled SWW” and placed in the “Autobiography” section, is expected on Aug. 11 and will be “a revealing and explosive portrayal of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s fifteen-year friendship with Melania Trump and observations of the most chaotic White House in history.”