World

Trump’s sister in secret recordings: 'He's cruel and a liar'

She also called US President a liar and cruel, in audio secretly recorded by his niece

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's older sister described him as cruel and a liar whose lack of principles meant he could not be trusted, according to secretly made recordings published on Saturday.

It was the latest unflattering insider account to target the President, only instead of a jilted aide or business associate, it was from one of his closest relatives.

Ms Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, slammed her brother over his immigration policy that saw children separated from their parents and sent to detention centres.

"All he wants to do is appeal to his base," she said in recordings obtained by the Washington Post. "He has no principles. None. His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God."

The recordings were secretly made by the President's niece, Ms Mary Trump, who last month published a bombshell memoir of the "toxic family" that produced him.

Mr Trump's younger brother Robert, who died last week, went to court to block its publication t but to no avail.

Some 950,000 copies were sold the day of the memoir's release, with the White House calling it a "book of falsehoods".

At one point in the recordings, Ms Barry said to her niece: "It's the phoniness of it all. It's the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel."

The recordings also shed light on the source of an embarrassing claim in the memoir that the President had paid someone to take a college entrance exam for him.

"He got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams," Ms Barry said, adding she even remembered the man's name.

In response, the White House released a statement from Mr Trump that said: "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!"

DECOUPLING ECONOMY

In a separate development, Mr Trump, in a Fox News interview scheduled to air yesterday, raised the possibility of decoupling the US economy from China, a major purchaser of American goods.

In a video excerpt, Mr Trump initially told the interviewer "we don't have to" do business with China, and then later said about decoupling: "Well it's something that if they don't treat us right I would certainly, I would certainly do that."

Mr Trump entered into a high-stakes trade war with China before reaching a partial Phase 1 trade deal in January.

He has since shut the door on Phase 2 negotiations, saying he was unhappy with Beijing's handling of the pandemic.

On Saturday, Mr Trump, without providing evidence, stirred the waters by accusing members of the "deep state" at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of working to slow testing of Covid-19 vaccines until after the November presidential election.

In a Twitter post, Mr Trump said the deep state "or whoever" at the FDA was making it difficult for drug companies to enrol people in clinical trials. - AFP, REUTERS

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