President Donald Trump’s sister is a former federal judge. But she was reportedly not very supportive of his 2016 presidential run.
According to a forthcoming memoir by Trump niece Mary Trump, Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry described her brother in various unflattering terms and insisted that he has “no principles” when she initially learned about his designs on the White House.
“He’s a clown — this will never happen,” Barry reportedly told her niece during lunch in 2015. The duo habitually dine together.
Discussion of the soon-to-be president’s principles occurred after Trump was apparently already in the running and bolstered by his strong support among evangelical Christians–a demographic which typically tilts toward the far-right end of the political spectrum.
“The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there,” Barry is quoted as telling her niece in the book. “It’s mind boggling. But that’s all about his base. He has no principles. None!”
Barry is a devout Catholic after converting to the faith some five decades ago. And she also reportedly directed some of her ire toward evangelicals.
“What the fuck is wrong with them?” she reportedly asked out loud.
But some observers were less than amused at what amounted to a squabble among aristocrats.
Legal journalist Mike Sacks all-but accused Barry of hypocrisy over the onetime judge’s criticism of her brother.
“Says the woman who secured her federal judgeship because Roy Cohn wanted to curry favor with her brother,” he tweeted.
Cohn, a political fixer who helped lead Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts against alleged communists in 1954, was one of Donald Trump’s former top attorneys–helping him fight back against federal lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act in the 1970s.
Eventually diagnosed with AIDS and reportedly disdained by Trump over the implications, Cohn sough to re-ingratiate himself with the Trump family by pulling strings with the Reagan administration in order to have Barry appointed to a federal judgeship.
A New Yorker article from 2017 notes:
One of [Cohn’s former switchboard operator Christine] Seymour’s notes describes Cohn’s efforts to advance the judicial career of Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, who served as a federal appeals-court judge for decades, until stepping down soon after Trump assumed the Presidency: “Roy got the White House to give her her judgeship,” Seymour writes. “Roy was out and the call came in to tell her she got it. I took the call and called her to tell her. Ten minutes later, Donald called to say thank you.”
A Vanity Fair article from the same year notes that Cohn “approached Reagan’s attorney general, Ed Meese” and ultimately secured the “plum” position for his former client’s sister.
“There’s no question Donald helped me get on the bench,” Barry once admitted to Trump family biographer Gwenda Blair. “I was good, but not that good.”
Her estimation of her own brother’s acumen in all things, however, was decidedly less forgiving.
“He’s a clown,” Barry said of her brother during one of the soon-to-be storied lunches between the ladies Trump.
“This will never happen,” she reportedly told her niece about her brother’s long shot presidential bid.
Per the book, the pair proceeded to dismiss the 45th president’s political ambitions due to “his reputation as a faded reality star and failed businessman.”
“Does anybody even believe the bullshit that he’s a self-made man?” Mary Trump asked. “What has he even accomplished on his own?’
“Well,” Barry is said to have replied, “he has had five bankruptcies.”
[image via ED Jones/AFP via Getty Images]
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