“Donald's out for Donald,” Trump’s 83-year-old sister can be heard saying on the audio. Barry also appeared to verify her niece Mary’s prior claims that the president had a friend take his SATs to get into college.
The Washington Post first obtained the previously unreleased materials from Mary Trump, author of the tell-all book about Donald and one of his most bitter detractors. Mary—who doesn’t believe Donald is equipped to be president and has endorsed Joe Biden—told The Post that she secretly taped 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with Barry in 2018 and 2019.
In one of the conversations, Barry even called her brother “cruel.”
At other moments, Barry commented on how her brother functioned as president: “His goddamned tweets and lying, oh my God,” she said, according to the recording. “I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
Barry—who’s a retired federal appellate judge—has never publicly discussed her disagreements with Donald. Still, the audio reflects years of tumult between the siblings that began when she asked her brother for a favor in the 1980s, which she alleges that Trump has often used to take credit for her success.
Barry also allegedly told her niece, “It's the phoniness of it all. It's the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
One of the most significant portions of the audio is a conversation Barry and her niece reportedly had on Nov. 1, 2018, which appears to be where the SAT allegation stems from and one of the most publicized accusations in Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man.
According to The Post, Barry told Mary: “[Trump] 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.”
“No way!” Mary responded. “He had somebody take his entrance exams?”
Barry replied, “SATs or whatever. . . . That's what I believe,” then said, “I even remember the name. That person was Joe Shapiro.”
The Post noted that Mary Trump has said it wasn’t the Joe Shapiro that went to Penn with Donald, though that person hasn’t come forward.
Chris Bastardi, a spokesman for Mary Trump, told The Post that Trump began recording conversations with Barry in 2018 after she alleges that her relatives had lied about the family estate’s worth 20 years earlier during a legal battle over her inheritance, from which she said she’s collected less than she anticipated.
In a statement to CNN, Bastardi said, “Mary realized 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, including the President's sister, Federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, state that Donald Trump had paid someone to take an SAT exam for him.”
The White House also supplied a statement from the president: “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 said, referencing his brother Robert Trump who died earlier this month.
In July, before the release of Mary Trump’s book, the White House said that the SAT allegation was “absurd” and “completely false.”