Donald Trump was “scared” when he demonstrated bravado in the White House after being treated for a serious coronavirus infection, his ex-niece Mary Trump said.
The then US president had a pained expression that Mary admitted to her grandmother, but didn’t even dare to admit her fear, she recalls in a scathing new book seen by The Guardian.
The Reckoning contends that the United States suffers from a national trauma manifested in increasing levels of rage and hatred and exacerbated by her uncle’s assault on democracy. It follows the memoir of the psychologist, Too Much and Never Enough, who portrayed Trump as the product of a dysfunctional family.
Last October, Trump was released from a military hospital after three days of treatment and made a typically theatrical return to the White House, landing on the South Lawn and climbing a grand exterior staircase to the Truman Balcony.
“Doing his best to imitate Mussolini, he took off his mask in a macho display of invulnerability,” Mary writes. “He gritted his teeth and stuck his jaw out, just like my grandmother did when she swallowed her anger or suppressed her pain. In Donald, I saw the latter.
She adds, “I have asthma, so I’m well aware of what it looks like when someone has trouble breathing. He was in pain, he was afraid, but he would never admit it to anyone – not even to himself. Because, as always, the consequences of admitting his vulnerability were far more frightening to him than being honest. “
For the whole outside show, Trump was more seriously ill than the White House admitted at the time, with depressed blood oxygen levels and a lung problem associated with pneumonia, according to a February report in the New York Times. Some officials feared he might need to be put on a ventilator.
Mary eviscerates Trump’s handling of the pandemic and, reflecting on his turbulent presidency, links his “rampant anti-Semitism and homophobia” to deadly violence in America and beyond. She argues that even though the president was incompetent, other members of his administration built a “lean and ruthless machine to advance fascism.”
Mary, 56, has become one of her uncle’s harshest critics and says she doesn’t like him. She memorably wrote about family dinners in the Trump house, pointing out the coldness of her “sociopath” grandfather Fred, who was Donald’s father. Mary voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and last spoke to Donald at her aunt’s birthday party at the White House in April 2017.
At that point, she was “in the worst psychological shape of my life,” she writes in the book, and several months later she sought treatment at a Tucson, Arizona center specializing in the disorder. post-traumatic stress disorder. “I would be there for weeks, digging decades-old wounds and trying to figure out why my Uncle Donald’s rise to the White House had devastated me so much. “
She desperately wanted to remind the anonymous people of the center where, luckily, people did not reveal their last names. “Even so, I found it unthinkable that anyone would find out who I was or, more relevant, who my uncle was. Long before my uncle entered politics, I never admitted to anyone that I belonged to the Trump family.
With Too Much and Never Enough, which sold nearly a million copies on its first day of release, Mary became the first family member to publish a biography of Donald Trump. Since then, she has been frequently interviewed on cable news and supported Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaign against Trump.
In The Reckoning, she broadens the lens, saying it is “almost impossible to grow up white in America and not be racist” and that Trump “is a symptom of a disease that has existed in the body politic since inception. of this country ”but which has now“ metastasized ”.
She adds a stern warning: “From increasing levels of rage and hatred on one side to increasing levels of helplessness, stress and hopelessness on the other, we are heading for an even darker time in history. of our nation. “