Speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo hours after Trump’s tweet, Mary Trump echoed previous comments in which she described her uncle as a racist and dismissed the president’s accusation that she was an outcast from the family.
Though she conceded it was difficult to maintain relations after her grandfather’s death due to an intra-family lawsuit, Mary Trump pointed out that the president had requested she ghost write his second book. She also added that she and her grandmother were “very close.”
“My grandfather didn’t really have positive feelings for anybody except perhaps Donald,” she said.
In response to the president calling her a “mess,” Mary Trump replied: “I think it’s just an attack he hurls predominately at women and honestly, I’m in very good company. I believe he’s said the same thing about Nancy Pelosi and I’m fine with that.”
Mary Trump also responded to the president’s tweets with one of her own, writing: “5.23 million v. 5.11 million #seldomseen” accompanied by a pensive emoji.
The numbers are a reference to the reported views of Mary Trump’s interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Thursday versus the reported views of the president’s town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in June, and a dig at the president’s fascination with TV ratings.
During the explosive interview with Maddow, Mary Trump said that she had heard the president and other members of their family use anti-Semitic language and a derogatory slur on Black people.
As of late Friday, Trump had yet to respond to his niece’s latest broadside.
Mary Trump’s book is not the first damning account of the president, but its unique perspective from inside the family has propelled its popularity and intrigue. “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” is currently No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list, selling more than 950,000 copies on its first day of release.
The Trump administration has denied the accounts in the book on the president’s behalf, with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany characterizing it as a work of opportunistic fiction, asserting that the president maintained a healthy relationship with his parents.
“It’s a book of falsehoods, and that‘s about it,“ McEnany said last week. “It‘s ridiculous, absurd allegations that has absolutely no bearing in truth.“
The Trump family tried to sue to stop the book’s release, citing a family financial agreement from 2001 as grounds to halt Mary Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, from publishing or discussing the book. But New York state courts ruled that the publishing house was free to release the book, which it did earlier this week, and that Mary Trump could discuss and publicize her work — a point Mary Trump emphasized during her interview with Cuomo.
Trump also went after his former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who had written his own tell-all account of his time in the White House. Bolton’s highly anticipated book, released in June, alleged Trump committed numerous acts of presidential misconduct including offering favors to foreign heads of government and requesting Chinese help in his reelection.
The Trump administration tried to halt Bolton’s book, saying it revealed secrets pertaining to national security, but a federal judge allowed the book’s release.
In his tweets Friday, Trump called his former adviser “lowlife dummy John Bolton, a war mongering fool, violating the law” who wrote the book “to build badly needed credibility and make a few dollars.”
The president had previously attacked Bolton in the wake of his book, calling him “stupid” and a “guy with no heart.”