Video screenshot

Rachel Maddow devoted her entire hour last night to an interview with Mary Trump, who thanks to a court order is finally free to talk about her book on the worst person in her family, Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man. While a good bit of the interview covered material that has already come out in excerpts from the book, the interview made some original news, too, with Mary Trump's confirmation that "of course" she had heard her uncle use racist language, including the n-word and anti-Semitic slurs. Here, have a clip:

Mary Trump: 'Of Course I Did' Hear Donald Trump Use Racial Slurs | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Maddow asked Trump to elaborate on a point she had brought up in an earlier interview with the Washington Post, in which she'd said that as she grew up a Trump, the atmosphere was one of "a knee-jerk anti-Semitism, a knee-jerk racism."

"Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the n-word or use anti-Semitic expressions," she said.

Trump said that such bigoted language was "perfectly commonplace" usage for the "older generation" in the family:

I didn't share their ideas about race and Judaism at all. But, you know, when you grow up with that being perfectly normal, you don't really think twice about it.

When Maddow pressed her whether she'd heard her uncle Donald use such slurs, she replied, "Oh, yeah, of course I did. And I don't think that should surprise anybody, given how virulently racist he is today." Asked specifically if she'd heard Donald Trump use the n-word and anti-Semitic slurs, she readily answered "Yeah" to both.

Also too, bravo to Maddow for not allowing the White House to get away with a non-denial denial: A spokesperson asked to comment said only, "This is a book of falsehoods, plain and simple. The president doesn't use those words." Maddow then pointed out,

To be clear, this claim, that Mary Trump says she's heard the president use the n-word and other racist slurs and anti-Semitic slurs, that claim isn't actually from her book. It's just something she said in this interview, so then denouncing the book doesn't help. But still, we thank the White House for at least giving us the statement.

In other parts of the interview, Trump discussed a passage in the book where her uncle introduced her to Melania, falsely telling Melon that Mary had overcome a terrible drug addiction, while looking at Mary and winking to indicate he knew he was lying. The constant lying, she said, "really is a power play. [...] Most of the time people don't correct him, which completely plays into his hands. Because then he can do it with impunity."

She also recounted how she had helped reporters from the New York Times with their massive investigation of the financial fraud Fred Trump and his children had committed to shield Donald and his siblings from paying taxes on Fred Trump's estate. Mary Trump said that she hadn't realized the full importance of the documents she'd shared with the reporters, since those records showed her own aunts and uncles had defrauded her by not telling her the true value of the estate. This wasn't just a family lie, either, since as CNN analyst Asha Rangappa discusses in this Twitter thread, as the trustees for Mary Trump's inheritance, the family had a legal obligation to look out for her interests. What with them being Fred Senior's children, they — allegedly! — did anything but:

Rangappa then goes on to list the many ways Donald Trump has ditched his other legal obligations in order to look out for himself: His "charity" cheated donors, his corrupt Ukraine pressure campaign ignored his oath to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and Bill Barr is doing exactly the same thing for Trump, too.

And as the alleged leader of the nation, Mary Trump notes, her uncle has completely abdicated his responsibility to lead the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The reason he's failing at it is because he's incapable of succeeding at it. It would have required taking responsibility, which would in his mind have meant admitting a mistake, which in his mind would be admitting weakness, which in my family was essentially punished with the death penalty, symbolically or otherwise. [...]

What we need to grapple with now is why so many people are continuing to allow this. [...] If only Donald had said, "Listen to the scientists, wear a mask, stay home." [...] People are dying every day. There are states in this country that are absolutely out of control, and to curry favor, with Donald, certain governors are continuing to ignore the science. And more people are getting sick, and more people are going to die. It is utterly insane at this point. We need to wake up.

And instead of taking it seriously, instead of standing aside and letting the experts take over, Donald is hawking black beans. It would be absurd if it weren't so devastating.

Before beginning the interview, Maddow briefly recounted the horrifying story of how Donald Trump cut off payments for medical care for his infant great nephew, who had a seizure disorder. Trump explained at the time that he had to, because the baby's parents — Mary's brother Fred III and his wife — had sued over Fred Sr.'s will. Asked about whether cutting off a suffering baby's medical coverage might be seen as cold-hearted, Trump told the New York Daily News in 2000, "I can't help that."

And that's the legacy Donald Trump will leave. A profound, literally deadly refusal to take responsibility for the lives he's ruined. He can't help that.

[Rachel Maddow Show (free; login required) / NBC News / WaPo / NYDN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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