01:42 - Source: CNN
Hear Trump's sister criticize her brother in secretly recorded audio

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

CNN  — 

“Donald is out for Donald, period.” “Donald is cruel.” “You can’t trust him.” “He has no principles. None.” “The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy sh*t.”

We’ve all heard remarks to this effect describing Donald Trump ever since that staged escalator ride to launch his run for president in June 2015. But this time these words aren’t coming from Democrats or the so-called “liberal media.” Rather these are the words of Trump’s own sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal appellate judge, told in confidence to her niece Mary Trump in 2018 and 2019.

Dean Obeidallah

Before you go yelling, “Fake news,” note that all of the words of President Trump’s 83-year-old sister Barry are recorded on tape and made public for the world to hear after Mary Trump first provided them to The Washington Post (Barry has not responded to requests for comment about the recordings). Mary had, unknown to her aunt, recorded approximately 15 hours of conversations, according to what she told the Post. A spokesman for Mary, who claims that her relatives had lied about the value of the family estate two decades earlier during a legal battle over her inheritance, told the paper that these recordings were made in anticipation of possible litigation about the estate.

President Trump hasn’t yet disputed what his sister has said. Instead he responded in a statement released Saturday night, “Every day it’s something else, who cares. 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!” Trump presumably was referring to his brother Robert, who died on Aug. 15, rather than his niece’s father. The President held a funeral service for Robert at the White House on Friday.

There’s no disputing Mary is no fan of her uncle Donald. She has declared her intention to do “everything in my power” to defeat her uncle and elect Joe Biden.

The President’s niece also said on my SiriusXM radio show in early August that she believes her uncle should face criminal charges for his intentional lying to the American people about the risks of Covid-19 as well as for possible financial crimes he may have committed. (Lawyers for the President have denied past allegations of wrongdoing regarding his financial dealings.)

But let’s not lose sight of the candid words of Trump’s older sister, who typically has avoided public criticism of her brother. She paints not only a damning but an alarming picture of her brother. When a sibling says in confidence that her brother is cruel, lies, and is misleading his base with his phoniness, people should take notice.

Unlike niece Mary, Barry has no political axe to grind. She was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan to the federal bench and, as she notes in the recording, her brother Donald used his connections to help her get her name put forward for consideration. But she does share in these conversations that her brother repeatedly reminded her of this favor to the point where, according to the Washington Post report on the recording, she says she told him, “You say that one more time and I will level you.”

The President’s sister made it clear she didn’t believe her brother had any real business acumen. When her niece Mary asked what Donald had accomplished on his own, Barry responded, “I don’t know,” then adding, “Well he has five bankruptcies.” (Trump’s companies have filed at least four – by some counts, six – bankruptcies, but he has not filed personally for bankruptcy.)

Barry slammed her brother’s separation of immigrant families – “what they’re doing with kids at the border” – and expressed her disbelief that devout people didn’t speak up against this type of action. “All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” said Barry in the recordings. “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.”

The former judge also said that when Donald was in school she “did his homework for him” and that she believes he had someone take the entrance exams for him to get into the University of Pennsylvania. (Trump denies anyone took the SATs for him.)

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    Will any of this move Trump supporters? Stop laughing. And to those who oppose Trump, these conversations are simply Exhibit One Million confirming their views about him.

    But maybe, just maybe, there are voters out there – especially in swing states – who haven’t made up their mind yet in this presidential election. For those people, I have this simple plea: Please listen carefully to the words of the President’s own sister, who has known him for his entire life. Think about them for a moment and then ask yourself: Is this really the person you want in the White House for four more years?