A new book by Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Lea Trump, is touted as a tell-all book. The author claims that it was inevitable that Trump, raised in an openly racist family, would be racist and antisemitic. But the facts and testimony by several Jews indicate precisely the opposite, shedding doubt on a questionable book written by an author who clearly has an ax to grind..
The book, titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, was published last week and sold 950,000 copies by the end of its first day on sale. That figure, which included pre-sales, as well as e-books and audio-books, is a new record for Simon & Schuster, the company said.
On Thursday night, Mary Trump was interviewed about her new book by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC in a show that was the highest-rated hour in the series’ 12-year history, drawing a total audience of 5.229 million viewers. During the interview, Mary Trump accused the president of being a racist, claiming the N-word and anti-Semitic expressions were common in her family.
“Just generally with the older generations as if it were horrifically commonplace and ordinary to say such things,” she said. “I had the benefit of living in Jamaica, not Jamaica Estates, and going to school in Forest Hills and so I didn’t share their ideas about race and Judaism at all but you know, when you grow up with that being perfectly normal, then you don’t really think twice about it.”
Trump Family Tradition of Donating to Jewish Causes
Mary Trump’s statement is inconsistent with much of what is known about Donald Trump’s pre-White House days. More specifically, Mary Trump’s claims concerning the Trump family’s “ideas about race and Judaism” are patently absurd. Fred Sr. was a noted philanthropist who gave generously to Jewish causes including the Long Island Jewish Hospital. In The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate it was noted that “[Fred] Trump was so active in Jewish and Israeli causes that some believed that he belonged to the Jewish faith.
This Trump family tradition of donating to Jewish causes took on a decidedly political twist in the 1980’s when Donald Trump donated heavily to help build new infrastructure for the Israelis removed from the northern Sinai as part of the peace agreement with Egypt. Again, in 2005, Trump generously helped resettle the Jews expelled from Gush Katif. At about the same time, Trump also donated $10,000 to American Friends of Beit El Institutions, a fund for religious institutions in Samaria.
It is well-known that Donald Trump has been a long-time friend of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Though this is clearly a manifestation of the strong political alliance between the two countries, it has its roots in the president’s family. Fred Trump, the president’s father, became friends with Netanyahu while he was the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations in Manhattan.
The president’s daughter, Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2009 before marrying Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew. Ivanka (her Hebrew name is Yael) has said that her father supported her decision to convert “from day one”, adding that he has “tremendous respect” for the Jewish religion. Trump is blessed with three Jewish grandchildren. His respect for Judaism was so great that he made a special request from his daughter in the heat of the presidential campaign: pray for him in the synagogue during the Jewish high-holidays in order to “cover all of the bases.”’
Testimony: Trump Sr.’s Rabbi
Fred Trump Sr. donated the land for the Talmud Torah of the Beach Haven Jewish Center in Flatbush, New York. Malka Weisberg’s father was the rabbi of the Jewish center and related that the entire Trump family was close personal friends of her father.
“Mr. Trump [Sr.] agreed to donate the land if the community built a synagogue on it,” Weisberg told Breaking Israel News. “Basically, they became very close friends for the next 49 years.”
“The Trump offices were in Beach Haven and Mr. Trump would frequently stop in to talk to my father. They definitely discussed their pasts,” Weisberg said. “They spoke about family, a subject that was very important to both of them. They also discussed theology and religion.”
Trump Sr. attended the yearly fundraising dinners held by the synagogue, bringing his entire family. Malka, very young at the time, recited the Hebrew blessing over a large ceremonial challah (braided bread) presented at the beginning of the meal. Weisberg related how Mrs. Trump, a Sottish-born Presbyterian was so impressed that she kissed her forehead.
“She was a very nice woman and they were a very close family. Donald Trump was very very close with his family and it was clear he would go into the family business,” Weisberg said. “He learned the business from his father but it really took off under him.”
“The president learned from his father to be a real ohev yisrael (lover of Israel). His father certainly was. This is something I think should be known and the president deserves credit for the good he does for Israel. Until now, his track record seems to clearly show that the president is an ohev yisrael, the same as his father.”
Weisberg noted that Donald Trump was very close to his father and thanked his parents in his inaugural address.
The friendship lasted until Fred Sr. passed away in 1999 with invitations to family events being extended bilaterally. Rabbi Wagner and his wife attended the wake. Weisberg related how Donald Trump approached her mother, grateful that she was at the funeral.
“Rebbetzin, you should know that your husband was not only a good friend of my father, but he was also my father’s rabbi,” Trump told Weisberg’s mother.
“He was a bit wild but it was touching to see how he respected and loved his father,” Weisberg said. “From everything I saw growing up, his father brought him up in the business, working his way up from the bottom.”
Weisberg now lives in Israel and the young man she once knew is now considered by many to be the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history.
“I believe a lot of what the president does today with the Jewish people and Israel comes from how he grew up, watching his father interact with the Jewish community,” Weisberg said. “This came from the warm relationship between Fred Trump and my father.”
Weisberg noted that this love for Israel, passed from father to son, has had huge implications for Israel.
“It is important to recognize the good that people do for you and the Jewish people have a lot to thank President Trump for,” Weisberg emphasized.
Israel Republicans Stand Strong With Trump
Marc Zell, head of the Republican party in Israel,
“The accusations that Trump is in any way anti-Semitic are complete garbage,” Zell said unequivocally. “You can choose a different word: balderdash, poppycock, absurd. In terms that Mary, as a psychologist would understand, she is suffering from cognitive dissonance. It would be foolish to think there is any basis for such a claim. It is surreal and false, and his whole life is a testament to that.”
“She was clearly conscripted by anti-Trump forces and is making a lot of money for this.It is a financial scam to impugn the president and she is not the first. According to the family, she had very little connection with the family. What she has to say is incredible and lacks credibility. We don’t see any evidence that what she says is true.”
“It’s a shame that people pay more attention to the claims in the book than the president’s own actions and words. Before he ran for president’ all of the civil rights leaders praised him. He fought for rights for Jews and blacks to be admitted to Mara Largo.”
Zell noted the long list of unprecedented pro-Israel policies Trump has enacted.
“This is a man who has done more for the Jewish people than any president in history,” Zell said. “This is surely a product of pro-American politics and personal feelings. But showing gratitude is a very strong Biblical value and Israel needs to express this to the President.”
Zell is currently working to strengthen the relationship between evangelicals in the US and Jews in Israel.
“The next six months are going to be very difficult and there will be even worse lies,” Zell said. “We can’t take anything for granted. We need to stand strongly behind him, for the good of Israel and for the good of the US.”
Mary Trump: A Long History of Contentious Family Relations
Mary is a clinical psychologist and the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s brother. After an unsuccessful stint in the family real-estate development business, Fred Jr. became an airline pilot. He died of a heart attack tied to alcoholism when Mary was 16.
In the book, she relates how in 1999, she was planning on marrying her girlfriend in Maui, Hawaii. One week before the wedding, her grandfather was on his deathbed and Mary spoke with her grandmother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Mary was reminded of a previous discussion in which her grandmother referred to the homosexual British musician Elton John by using an offensive word describing his sexual preference. Mary L. Trump wrote in her recent book that this antagonistic attitude prevented her from revealing her own homosexuality to the family. Mary L. Trump later married the woman with whom she began raising a child. She later divorced.
“Homophobia was never an issue because nobody ever talked about gay people, well, until my grandmother called Elton John [that name],” she said.
The book is the most recent installment in a long history of Mary Trump’s contentious relationship with her family. Mary L. Trump contested her grandfather’s will, leading to a bitter court battle against Donald Trump and two of his siblings. Mary later gave documents from the discovery process of that court case to the New York Times for an article about the President’s finances. The president claims that her release of these documents violated a non-disclosure agreement she signed related to the court case.
The White House responded to Mary Trump’s claims, telling Maddow’s show, “This is a book of falsehoods, plain and simple. The president doesn’t use those words.”
Trump was more forthcoming, responding to his niece’s book on Twitter in his own inimical fashion.
“I am the ultimate member of The Book of the Month Club,” President Trump tweeted. “First I have lowlife dummy John Bolton, a warmongering fool, violating the law (he released massive amounts of Classified Information) and an NDA in order to build badly needed credibility and make a few dollars, which will all end up going to the government anyway. Next up is Mary Trump, a seldom seen niece who knows little about me, says untruthful things about my wonderful parents (who couldn’t stand her!) and me, and violated her NDA. She also broke the Law by giving out my Tax Returns. She’s a mess! Many books have been written about me, some good, some bad. Both happily and sadly, there will be more to come!”