Donald Trump suffered emotional abuse at the hands of his father as a child, which scarred him for life and has left him unfit to be president, his niece claims in a new book.
Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist, claims the alleged abuse from his father, Fred, “destroyed” Mr Trump and robbed him of the “ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion”.
The book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, has been pitched as part memoir and part psychoanalysis, and is due to be released next week.
The publication of the book follows a legal battle between Ms Trump and her family, who tried to block its release by claiming it violated a 20-year-old non-disclosure agreement signed in a lawsuit settlement over the will of Fred Trump, the president’s father and Ms Trump’s grandfather.
The publisher, Simon & Schuster, describes the book as a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him”.
“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,” Ms Trump writes in the book, according to extracts released on Tuesday.
Ms Trump, 55, who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, puts both her education and experience of growing up around the Trump dynasty to use to paint a damning picture of the president.
“Child abuse is, in some sense, the expectation of ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’. Donald directly experienced the ‘not enough’ in the loss of connection to his mother at a crucial development stage, which was deeply traumatic,” she writes.
She adds that his father’s failure to make the younger Trump “feel safe or loved” during this time would “scar him for life”.
“The personality traits that resulted – displays of narcissism, bullying, grandiosity – finally made my grandfather take notice but not in a way that ameliorated any of the horror that had come before.”
Mary’s father, Fred Jr, was president Trump’s eldest brother. He died of an alcohol-related illness in 1981.
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