President Donald Trump's niece offered a devastating portrayal of him in a book that credits a "perfect storm of catastrophes" for exposing the President at his worst.
Mary L. Trump, a psychologist, writes that the coronavirus pandemic, the possibility of an economic depression and deepening social divides have brought out the "worst effects" of Donald Trump's pathologies, which were less evident when the country had a stable economy and the lack of serious crises.
Those factors, along with "Donald's penchant for division, and uncertainty about our country's future have created a perfect storm of catastrophes that no one is less equipped than my uncle to manage", she writes.
The President's brother Robert tried to bar publication of the book. Early copies of the book, slated for publication next week, became available on Tuesday. It is titled: Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man.
A ruling briefly blocking its publication was lifted last week by a New York state appellate judge.
Mary Trump is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the President's elder brother, who died in 1981. She has a doctorate in psychology.
Donald Trump suffered "child abuse" at the hands of his father and "love meant nothing" to Fred Trump Sr, who only wanted obedience, Mary Trump writes.
Donald's mother became ill when he was two years old, leaving him with "total dependence on a caregiver (Fred Sr) who also caused him terror," Mary writes.
Robert Trump had argued in legal papers that Mary Trump was subject to a 20-year-old agreement between family members that no one would publish accounts involving the core family members without their approval.
Simon & Schuster said it did not know about any alleged family agreement until a few weeks ago and was not a part of any deal. It said that 75,000 first-run editions had already been sent to bookstores.
In the book, Mary Trump writes that current challenges have weakened the President's usual tools for shielding himself from blame.
"His ability to control unfavourable situations by lying, spinning, and obfuscating has diminished to the point of impotence in the midst of the tragedies we are currently facing," she said.
"His egregious and arguably intentional mishandling of the current catastrophe has led to a level of pushback and scrutiny that he's never experienced before, increasing his belligerence and need for petty revenge as he withholds vital funding, personal protective equipment, and ventilators that your tax dollars have paid for from states whose governors don't kiss his ass sufficiently," Mary Trump wrote.
The White House declined to comment. -AP