President Donald Trump's sister Maryanne Trump Barry delivered scathing comments on her brother's character and his performance as president in secretly recorded conversations with her niece, Mary Trump, who published a tell-all book about her uncle.
According to The Washington Post, which first reported the recordings, Mary Trump recorded 15 hours of her talks with Barry in 2018 and 2019. Barry, 83, shared her opinion of her brother from his childhood to his presidency, calling him a "brat" and a "liar."
"All he wants to do is appeal to his base," Barry said of her younger brother in one excerpt of the recordings obtained by USA TODAY. "He has no principles. None."
"His goddamned tweet and the lying, oh my God," she said in another clip. "I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying."
Barry, a former federal judge, decried what Trump's administration was "doing with the kids at the border" and scoffed at the president's suggestion that he might send her there to help handle immigration cases.
"Well, I guess he hasn't read my immigration opinions," she said.
"What has he read?" Mary Trump replied.
"No, he doesn't read," Barry said. In another excerpt, Barry related a story in which her brother was incredulous that she read books instead of watching Fox News.
"You can't trust him," Barry said in another exchange. She said the only things Trump accomplished on his own were his bankruptcies.
"Every day it’s something else, who cares," the president said in a statement responding to the recordings, which were released after a White House funeral for his brother Robert. "I miss my brother, and I’ll continue to work hard for the American people. Not everyone agrees, but the results are obvious. Our country will soon be stronger than ever before."
When asked about the recordings Sunday on ABC News, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows characterized them as "politics as usual." He said Mary Trump "has an axe to grind" because she supports Democratic nominee Joe Biden and "was written out of a will."
"What family member tapes another family member for 15 hours secretly?" Meadows asked "This Week" host George Stephanopolous. He disputed Barry's portrait of her brother.
"The president that I have the privilege of serving is not the one that's being described in the recordings," he said.
Contrary to Barry's claims, Meadows said Trump "reads probably more than anybody I know" and "does more than any president that I’ve ever been able to have the privilege of researching and reading about in terms of wanting to make sure that we have advance critical agendas for the hardworking American people on Main Street."
Meadows said he had hoped to meet Barry at the White House service for Robert Trump, but "she didn't show up for her brother's funeral."
Senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller dismissed Barry's comments as a typical family dispute on NBC News' "Meet the Press."
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"Sibling rivalries are nothing new in the world. It’s been going on since the beginning of time," Miller said, citing criticism leveled at former President Barack Obama from his half brother Malik. "Unfortunately, when you get to the White House, you have family members who sometimes decide to voice their sibling rivalries or frustrations."
Miller said he had only heard Trump say "positive things about his sister, someone who's a very accomplished judge."
"And I think he's very proud of everything that she has accomplished," he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on CNN's "State of the Union" that it was "heartbreaking to think that a family member of the president of the United States would have that view of him."
"This is just further evidence of his inauthenticity and his lack of integrity," Pelosi said.
Chris Bastardi, a spokesman for Mary Trump, said she recorded her conversations with her aunt because "members of her family had lied in prior depositions."
"Anticipating litigation, she felt it prudent to tape conversations in order to protect herself. She never expected to learn much of what she heard," Bastardi said in a statement.
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Contributing: David Jackson
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump's sister Maryanne Trump Barry calls him a 'liar' in recordings