Law Review: Understanding Mary Trump’s book

Donald Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, is on the talk show circuit discussing her new best seller, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

The book is available at Word for Word bookstore in downtown Truckee.

She writes that Donald Trump is who he is because of his father Fred Trump who Mary describes as “a high functioning sociopath, with a lack of empathy, a facility for lying, indifference to right and wrong, abusive behavior, and a lack of interest in the rights of others.” Traits assumed by Donald (as she calls him), who she describes as “fundamentally incapable of acknowledging the suffering of others.”

Mary has the credentials to assess her uncle, achieving a bachelor’s from Tufts University, a master’s from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Turner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. She understands Donald Trump and how he came to be who he is … five bankruptcies and all.

Mary Trump describes Donald having “a narcissistic personality disorder,” explaining his “often bizarre and self-defeating behavior.” She writes that Donald “meets all nine criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

She adds “a case can be made that he also meets the criteria for antisocial personality disorder, which in its most severe form is generally considered sociopathy but can also refer to chronic criminality, arrogance, and disregard for the rights of others … Donald may also meet some of the criteria for dependent personality disorder, the hallmarks of which include an inability to make decisions or take responsibility, discomfort with being alone, and going to excessive lengths to obtain support from others … He may have a long undiagnosed learning disability that for decades has interfered with his ability to process information.

“Donald has always needed to perpetuate the fiction my grandfather (Fred Trump) started that is he is strong, smart and otherwise extraordinary, because facing the truth – that he is none of these things – is too terrifying for him to contemplate.

“Donald today is as much as he was at three years old, incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in and synthesize information.”

Mary Trump writes that Donald was taught by his father “to be tough at all costs, lying is okay, admitting you were wrong or apologizing is weakness. Donald’s growing arrogance, impart a defense against his feelings of abandonment and an antidote to his lack of self-esteem, served as a protective cover for his deepening insecurities.”

When I think of Trump I think of a Spanish proverb that I have taped to my law desk: “Tell me about which a man boasts, and I will tell you that which he lacks.” That’s our man.

“Too Much or Not Enough” comes from child abuse at the hands of Mary Trump’s father, Freddy, who died of alcoholism at age 42 having been humiliated throughout his life by his own father, Fred.

Mary Trump’s book is a good read, at least if you are not a Trump fan. Whether you are a fan or not, it gives a firsthand and credentialed psychological analysis of why Trump acts as he does.


To add insult to injury, Mary Trump secretly taped her interviews (legal in New York) with Donald’s sister Maryann Trump Barry, a retired federal judge, and you will not believe what she said about her brother, maybe by now you would believe it. Here are a few verbatim quotes:

“He has no principles. None. None.”

“The lying … Holy sh–.”

“It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty … Donald is cruel”

“He was a brat …”

“He had someone else take his (SAT) entrance exam.”

“Donald is out for Donald, period … You cannot trust him.”

I will close with this common Latin legal expression:

Res ipsa loquitur, which means the thing speaks for itself.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at or

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