“Every day it’s something else, who cares?” President Trump said in a statement, according to the Washington Post. “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.”
The Post's story about the recordings appeared one day after the White House hosted a private memorial service for Robert Trump, the president's younger brother, who died Aug. 15 at age 71.
The recordings of Barry, 83, were made by Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, who published a scathing tell-all book on the president and their family last month.
"Donald is cruel," Barry told her niece in a secretly recorded conversation in 2018.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base. 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,” she allegedly said in the recording published by the Post, referring to the Trump administrations's so-called zero-tolerance policy at the U.S.-Mexico border that led to children being separated from their parents amid immigration court hearings. The policy was later rescinded.
“His go—mned tweet and lying, oh my G–. I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy s—,” she continued.
Barry also said her brother rarely reads and she claimed someone else took his SAT exam for him to get into the University of Pennsylvania, according to the Post.
<br> Siblings Donald Trump, left, Maryanne Trump Barry and Robert Trump are seen at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., in April 1990. (Getty Images)
The family of the man Barry claimed took the test for her brother denies he took a test for anybody. The man is now deceased.
Mary Trump told the Post the alleged test taker was a different person with the same name.
Mary Trump has included some of these allegations in her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” but didn’t attribute them to her aunt.
“It’s the phoniness of it all,” Barry added. “It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
Barry, a former federal judge, is the oldest of the five Trump siblings, two of whom are now deceased. Mary Trump is the daughter of the president’s older brother, Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981.
The president's younger sister is Elizabeth Trump Grau, 78.
A spokesperson for Mary Trump told the Post that the niece began secretly recording relatives in 2018 in relation to a settled legal battle over her inheritance, with the recordings considered legal under New York state law. The spokesperson added that many of Barry's revelations about the president were unsolicited and were a surprise to Mary Trump’s part.
Mary Trump has said she hasn't spoken to her aunt since the recordings were made.
In 2016, President Trump called his sister a “highly respected judge” while noting they disagree on public policy issues.
In the recordings, however, Barry said her brother once asked her, “Where would you be without me?,” a reference to help he gave her in getting then-President Reagan to appoint her to a federal judgeship.
“The only favor I ever asked for in my whole life,” she said, adding she deserved the appointment on her own merit.
Barry also lamented that the president was the “only one who didn’t speak about Dad,” during Fred Sr.’s funeral in 1999. “Donald is out for Donald, period,” she said.
Barry has not yet commented on the release of the recordings and has not spoken publicly about Trump’s presidency.