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Mary L. Trump

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Mary L. Trump
Trump in 2021
Mary Lea Trump

(1965-05-03) May 3, 1965 (age 59)
EducationTufts University (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
Adelphi University (PhD)
Occupation(s)Psychologist, podcaster, writer
Political partyDemocratic[1]
Parent(s)Fred Trump Jr.
Linda Clapp
RelativesTrump family

Mary Lea Trump (born May 3, 1965)[2] is an American psychologist and writer. A niece of former US president Donald Trump, she has been critical of him as well as the rest of the Trump family. Her 2020 book about him and the family, Too Much and Never Enough, sold nearly one million copies on the day of its release. A second book, The Reckoning, followed in 2021.

In September 2020, Mary Trump sued her uncle Donald, aunt Maryanne, and the estate of her late uncle Robert, claiming that they defrauded her of tens of millions of dollars from her interests in her grandfather Fred Trump's real-estate portfolio. A year later, Donald Trump sued Mary for at least $100 million for providing The New York Times with financial documents which it used as a source for a 2018 exposé about his wealth and the family's finances.

Early life and education[edit]

Mary Trump was born in May 1965 to flight attendant Linda Lee Clapp and Fred Trump Jr., a commercial airline pilot of Trans World Airlines and son of real-estate developer Fred Trump (Donald Trump's father). Her older brother is Frederick Trump III.[3][4] When she was 16, her father died at 42 of a heart attack caused by alcoholism.[5]

Mary Trump graduated from the Ethel Walker School in 1983. She studied English literature at Tufts University, earned a master's degree in English literature at Columbia University, for which she studied the works of William Faulkner and his dysfunctional fictional Compson family,[6][7][8] and holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies[9] at Adelphi University.[4][10][11]

Will of Fred Trump Sr.[edit]

Fred Trump Sr. in the 1980s

Fred Trump Sr.'s will left the bulk of his estate, in equal shares, to his surviving children,[12][13] while each of his grandchildren was left $200,000.[14] In 1981, when Mary's father predeceased him, Fred Sr.'s lawyers had recommended amending his will, to leave Fred Trump Jr.'s children larger shares than the grandchildren with living parents, writing that "Given the size of your estate, this is tantamount to disinheriting them. You may wish to increase their participation in your estate to avoid ill will in the future." However, Fred Trump Sr. refused to do so.[12]

Fred Sr. was diagnosed with "mild senile dementia" in 1991[15] and about two years later began to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.[16] Donald Trump, at the time facing financial ruin, sought control of his elderly father's estate, leading to a family fight which The Washington Post described as "epic".[15] When Fred Trump Sr. died in 1999, Mary Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, contested their grandfather's will.[6][12][17]

Shortly after Fred Sr.'s death, Fred III's wife gave birth to a son named William, who has epileptic spasms, a rare and debilitating medical condition requiring a lifetime of care.[12] Fred Sr. had established a foundation that paid the medical expenses of his family. Mary Trump and her brother filed suit against Donald Trump and two of his three living siblings, Maryanne Trump Barry and Robert Trump, for exerting undue influence on the elderly Fred Sr.'s will.[18] In response, Donald, Maryanne and Robert cut off Mary and Fred III's medical insurance, including coverage for William.[12] The lawsuit was settled in 2001, with Mary and Fred III selling their interests in the family business (which included ground leases for two of Fred Sr.'s major properties).[18]

In 2018, Mary Trump provided financial records, including some Trump family tax returns, to The New York Times for its exposé on Fred and Donald Trump's finances, which alleges that Fred and the siblings of Fred Jr. – especially Donald – "participated in dubious tax schemes ... including instances of outright fraud", effectively avoiding over $500 million in gift taxes.[19][20]

In September 2020, Mary Trump sued her uncle Donald, aunt Maryanne, and the estate of her late uncle Robert, claiming that they defrauded her of tens of millions of dollars from her interests in Fred Sr.'s real-estate portfolio by undervaluing her interests and coercing her to sign a settlement.[21][22][18] The defendants' lawyers asked for dismissal of the lawsuit, claiming that she had waited too long to file suit.[23] Trump's lawyers responded that "[r]easonable diligence would not have uncovered the fraud" more than a decade earlier.[24] In a January 2022 hearing, lawyers for Donald Trump, Maryanne Trump Barry, and the estate of Robert Trump asked for Mary Trump's lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that she had waited too long to file her lawsuit because she had had access to the relevant documents since 2001 and that a six-year statute of limitations imposed by the 2001 settlement had expired.[25][26] In November 2022, the lawsuit was dismissed on the basis that Trump's 2001 settlement agreement had "unambiguously released defendants from unknown claims, including fraud claims".[27] She made an appeal request, which was denied on June 22, 2023.[28]

In September 2021, Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against his niece and The New York Times (namely the authors of the 2018 exposé)[29] for over $100 million.[19] The suit accuses Mary Trump and the three New York Times journalists of utilizing confidential documents in an "insidious" conspiracy against Donald. Mary called the suit an act of "desperation".[30][31] In a January 2023 hearing, a lawyer for the Times argued that the truthfulness of the exposé outweighed other considerations. Donald's lawyer Alina Habba singled out Mary's use of a burner phone to communicate with the Times, the counsel for which argued was merely to protect its source.[29] On May 3, 2023, a New York Supreme Court justice dismissed the Times from the suit and ordered Donald to pay its legal fees (which neared $400,000) on the basis that his assertions lacked constitutional merit and that, owing to the First Amendment, "reporters are entitled to engage in legal and ordinary news gathering activities without fear of tort liability".[32][33] A ruling the next month allowed Donald to pursue his claim against Mary. She requested a stay of proceedings during her appeal attempt, but this was denied on January 12, 2024.[33]


Mary Trump worked for one year at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center while working on her PhD research.[9] She is a contributor to the book Diagnosis: Schizophrenia, published by Columbia University Press in 2001.[34] She has taught graduate courses in developmental psychology, trauma, and psychopathology.[8] She is the founder and chief executive officer of The Trump Coaching Group, a life-coaching company, and has also owned and operated a number of small businesses in the Northeast.[1]

Too Much and Never Enough[edit]

Too Much and Never Enough front cover (2020 first edition)

Mary Trump's first book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, is an unauthorized biography of Donald Trump published on July 14, 2020, by Simon & Schuster. According to Mary Trump's note at the beginning of the book, all accounts in the book come either from her own memory or from recorded conversations with family, friends, and others. Other sources are legal, financial and family documents, email correspondence, and the New York Times investigative article by David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner.[8] The book details how Mary Trump was the anonymous source who provided The New York Times with Trump family tax returns. The New York Times report won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize.[35]

Upon the announcement of Too Much and Never Enough in June 2020, her uncle Robert Trump attempted to block its release, stating that she signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of the 2001 lawsuit settlement.[36][6][12] The filing of a temporary restraining order against Mary Trump was dismissed by a New York court for a lack of jurisdiction, and the book was published on July 14, 2020.[37][38]

The book sold close to one million copies on its first day of sales.[39]

The Reckoning[edit]

Trump's second book, The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal, was published by St. Martin's Press on August 17, 2021.[40] Drawing from American history, Trump posits that the country has suffered trauma from its inception because of its inclusion of systemic racism and its failure to address the existence of white supremacy, especially by Republicans in recent decades.[41]

The Mary Trump Show[edit]

Trump has a podcast, titled The Mary Trump Show, on which she discusses politics and other matters. On February 1, 2022, she announced that she would be removing her show from Spotify to protest alleged COVID-19 misinformation being spread on The Joe Rogan Experience,[42] which was exclusively distributed on Spotify.


Mary Trump supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.[1]

In 2018, David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times published "an exhaustive 18-month investigation of Donald Trump's finances that debunked his statements of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges", for which they were awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting.[20][43] Trump has stated that she was a key source of information for that study,[14] having come into possession of Donald Trump's tax documents during the discovery process in the dispute over her grandfather's estate.[44]

On July 15, 2020, Mary Trump said in an ABC News interview conducted by George Stephanopoulos that Donald Trump should resign as president, as he was "utterly incapable of leading this country, and it's dangerous to allow him to do so".[45] In an interview later that month on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mary Trump stated that Donald Trump exhibited sociopathic tendencies but not at a high-functioning level like his father. She said the president was institutionally insulated from responsibilities throughout his childhood and was never held accountable for his actions.[46]

After the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack, Mary Trump said her uncle should be "barred from ever running for public office again."[47]

Personal life[edit]

Mary Trump is openly gay. In Too Much and Never Enough, she makes a brief reference to the fact and states that "Nobody in the family knew; they'd always been spectacularly uninterested in my personal life ... and never asked about my boyfriends or relationships." She wrote that her grandmother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, once referred to Elton John as a "faggot",[48] and consequently, Mary Trump decided not to come out and tell her grandmother or other immediate family that she was going to marry a woman, with whom she would later raise a daughter.[49][50] She has since divorced, and lives on Long Island, New York, with her 21-year-old daughter, who was conceived by in-vitro fertilization via a sperm donor.[8][51]


  1. ^ a b c Collman, Ashley (July 4, 2020). "Meet Mary Trump, the president's niece who is a life coach, apparent Hillary Clinton fan, and has written a scathing tell-all about her uncle". Business Insider. Germany: Axel Springer SE. Archived from the original on June 19, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
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  7. ^ Trump, Mary (2009). A characterological evaluation of the victims of stalking (Thesis). Garden City, New York: Adelphi University.
  8. ^ a b c d Trump, Mary (July 14, 2020). About the Book 'Too Much and Never Enough'. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781982141462. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Trump, Mary (2020). Too Much and Never Enough. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-19821-4146-2.
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  18. ^ a b c Feuer, Alan; Haberman, Maggie (July 3, 2020). "Trump's Niece Presses Case Against Effort to Bar Publication of Her Book". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Ang, Katerina (September 22, 2021). "Trump sues New York Times and niece Mary Trump over tax records story". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Barstow, David; Craig, Susanne; Buettner, Russ (October 2, 2018). "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  21. ^ Feuer, Alan (September 24, 2020). "Mary Trump Sues President and Family, Claiming Fraud of Millions". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
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  34. ^ Miller, Rachel (2001). Diagnosis Schizophrenia : A comprehensive resource for patients, families, and helping professionals. Mason, Susan Elizabeth (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231150408. OCLC 51615777.
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  39. ^ Darcy, Oliver (July 16, 2020). "Mary Trump's book breaks record with mammoth sales". CNN. Atlanta. Archived from the original on July 18, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
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  42. ^ Breslin, Maureen (February 2, 2022). "Mary Trump pulling podcast from Spotify". The Hill. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  43. ^ "2019 Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  44. ^ Hope Coke (June 17, 2020). "Will Donald Trump sue his niece over tell-all memoir?". The Tatler. Retrieved June 23, 2020. The Daily Beast alleges that within days of the news breaking about the book on Sunday, the President had begun considering legal action against his niece. The news outlet states that 'two people familiar with the situation' attested that Donald Trump has 'told people close to him that he's getting his lawyers to look into the Mary Trump matter'.
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  48. ^ Too Much and Never Enough, chapter 10
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