President Donald Trump's older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, called him "cruel" and said "you can't trust him" in conversations secretly recorded by her niece, Mary Trump. The audio recordings were first obtained and published by the Washington Post on Saturday.
The 83-year-old former federal judge offered scathing criticism of her brother, accusing him of being phony, of lying, and of having "no principles," in the recordings that were provided to BuzzFeed News on Sunday.
"It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel," Barry tells Mary Trump in one of the conversations that were surreptitiously recorded over 2018 and 2019, the Washington Post reported.
After hearing a 2018 interview of Trump on Fox News where he suggested he would put Barry "at the border" in her capacity as a then–federal judge amid a wave of migrant children being separated from their parents, Barry told her niece that "all he wants to do is appeal to his base."
"He has no principles. None. None," Barry says in the recorded conversation. "And his base, I mean, my god, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this."
She also expressed shock about his tweeting, "lying," and "lack of preparation."
"His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my god," Barry tells Mary Trump during one conversation. "I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit."
Barry also appears to be the source for Mary Trump's previous allegation that Trump had paid a friend to take his SATs to get into college, according to the recordings.
Mary Trump had not previously disclosed the source of the allegation, which was first published in her explosive book about the president, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.
"He went to Fordham for one year" — it was actually two years — "and then he got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams," Barry tells Mary Trump in one conversation her niece secretly recorded.
"No way!” Mary Trump replies. "He had somebody take his entrance exams?"
"SATs or whatever... That’s what I believe," Barry says. "I even remember the name."
Barry identifies the person as Joe Shapiro, whom Mary Trump also mentions in her book.
Mary Trump told the Washington Post that it was not the same Joe Shapiro who was friends with Donald Trump at the University of Pennsylvania and whose widow has denied that he ever took a test for Trump.
The White House has previously said the allegation that Trump paid a friend to take his SATs is false.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Barry for comment.
Mary Trump secretly taped 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with Barry after she claimed that members of her family had lied to her in prior depositions, her spokesperson, Chris Bastardi, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "Anticipating litigation, she felt it prudent to tape conversations in order to protect herself," the statement said.
Bastardi referred questions about Joe Shapiro to Barry and President Trump.
"Several prominent individuals are currently facing prison sentences for taking unethical steps to get their children into college," Bastardi said, referring to the college admission scandal. "All while the President of the United States paid someone else [to] take his SATs."
The recordings were published a day after a White House memorial service for the president and Barry's brother, Robert Trump, who died last week at 71.
Responding to the audio recordings of his older sister, the White House issued a statement from Trump on Saturday, saying, "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."
Correction: Maryanne Trump Barry is Robert Trump's sister. A previous version of this post misidentified Mary Trump as his sister.