In previously undisclosed recordings, Maryanne Trump Barry, a former U.S. appellate court judge, voices a withering, highly critical assessment of her younger brother, President Donald Trump.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary Trump, who recently published a top-selling book condemning the president’s outlook on life as she watched it in family gatherings during his formative years.
“He has no principles. None. None,” the now-83-year-old Barry said of her brother, the U.S. leader, during 15 hours of taped conversations that her niece secretly recorded.
The Washington Post, which released some of the recordings in a story Saturday night, said it sought comment about the tapes from Barry and White House officials on Friday and Saturday. The paper reported that it did not receive a response.
After the Post published the account of Barry’s views of her brother, the president said in a statement late Saturday, “Every day it’s something else, who cares. I miss my brother, and I’ll continue to work hard for the American people. Not everyone agrees, but the results are obvious. Our country will soon be stronger than ever before!”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was dismissive of the accusations on the “Fox News Sunday” show, saying, “Another day, another political attack.”
The recording disclosed by the Post referred to a time earlier in the Trump presidency when he sought to halt thousands of undocumented immigrants from entering the United States from across the Mexican border and for a while separated children from their parents.
“I mean, my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this,” Barry said.
The retired judge said how appalled she was at how her brother acted as president.
“His ... tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy s**t.”
She lamented “what they’re doing with kids at the border” and surmised that her brother “hasn’t read my immigration opinions” in court cases.
In one instance, she berated an immigration judge for failing to treat an asylum applicant with respect.
“What has he read?” Mary Trump asked her aunt about the president. “No. He doesn’t read,” Barry responded.
At another point in the recording reported by the newspaper, Barry said to her niece, “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
Mary Trump, 55, told the Post recently that her uncle is unfit to be president and she plans to do “everything in my power” to elect Democrat Joe Biden.
Mary Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981 of an alcohol-related illness when she was 16. In her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” she says Donald Trump and his father mistreated her father.
A spokesman for Mary Trump, Chris Bastardi, said that she began taping conversations with Barry in 2018 after concluding that her Trump relatives had lied about the value of the family estate two decades earlier when Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father and family patriarch, died.
During a legal battle over her inheritance, she at first was set to receive far less than she expected, but the dispute was settled privately in 2001.