President Donald Trump as "no principles" and cannot be trusted, his sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, said in a secretly recorded conversation with her niece, Mary Trump. Barry said she believed her brother did not read her rulings on immigration in court cases and called out his "lack of preparation" when discussing Trump's actions as president. Mary Trump shared the recordings and transcripts with The Washington Post after being asked about allegations made in the best-selling book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man.
In one conversation, Barry said all Trump wants to do is "appeal to his base," adding, "He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God,
if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this." Barry, 83, also expressed anger about Trump's "goddamned tweet and lying" and how he changed stories. "The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy s—," Barry told Mary Trump. When it comes to immigration, Barry was disappointed by "what they're doing with kids at the border" and guessed the president did not read her opinions on immigration cases. "What has he read?" Mary Trump asked Barry. "No. He doesn't read," she replied.
Mary Trump, the daughter of the late Fred Trump Jr., told the Post she secretly recorded Barry during in-person conversations in 2018 and 2019. She shared unreleased transcripts and audio excerpts, which included allegations not published in Too Much and Never Enough. The transcripts provide the first public look at Barry's disagreements with her younger brother. She retired as Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in February 2019. Barry and the White House did not respond to the Post's requests for comment on the recordings. Mary Trump said she has not spoken with her aunt since the book was released.
One of the most shocking allegations in Too Much and Never Enough is that Trump paid someone to take the SATs for him so he could transfer to the University of Pennsylvania. This reveal came from a conversation Mary Trump had with Barry on Nov. 1, 2018, the transcripts reveal. "He went to Fordham for one year [actually two years], and then he got into the University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams," Barry told her niece. Barry said the person who took the test for Trump was a man named Joe Shapiro. Trump was friends with a Joe Shapiro at Penn, but he is deceased, and his widow told the Post he never took a test for someone. Mary Trump said it was a different Joe Shapiro.
In another conversation, Barry detailed how the animosity between herself and President Trump developed. In 1983, Trump's then-attorney Roy Cohn helped him get a meeting with President Ronald Reagan. The day after the meeting, Reagan nominated Barry for a federal judgeship. Trump "once tried to take credit for me," she said and quoted him as asking her, "Where would you be without me?" Barry said she once told Trump, "You say that one more time, and I will level you." Barry said this was the "only favor" she ever asked anyone in her life, and she deserved the nomination based on her record. She noted that she reached higher judicial posts without Trump's help. "Donald is out for Donald, period," Barry said.