Mary Trump, President Donald Trump’s niece, warned Thursday night that people need to take the president seriously when he suggests he may not agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses reelection in November.
“We have no idea how bad this is going to get,” she said at a virtual fundraiser hosted by LPAC, an organization focused on electing LGBTQ women. Mary Trump, who is an out lesbian, was the special guest of the event.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” the president said, suggesting he would accept the results only if the option of mail-in ballots is removed, which is not going to happen. “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a peaceful ... there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”
Senate Republicans have been scrambling to downplay the president’s remarks, saying everything will be fine and that he just “says crazy stuff.”
But Mary Trump, a vocal critic of the president who made waves with her recent book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” told HuffPost that he is not just bluster.
Asked how far she thinks her uncle would be willing to go to remain in the White House, she replied, “Farther than you can possibly imagine.”
She laid out her reasoning: The president knows what he faces if he becomes a private citizen again, including potentially being prosecuted for financial crimes and indicted on felony charges of obstruction of justice. And he’s got people close to him who are personally benefiting from his behavior who may face exposure if he is no longer protected by being in office.
“He’s cheating. He’s been cheating for a while now,” Mary Trump said. “He’s cheating when he tells people that mail-in ballots are fraudulent somehow. He’s cheating when he started calling into question the legitimacy of the election before a vote was even cast. He’s cheating when he says if Joe Biden wins, it’s rigged…. He’s also cheating when he tells people if we don’t get the results on Nov. 3 ― which, by the way, during the pandemic would be ridiculous ― if we have to wait, that it’s also rigged, somehow.”
“We need to be clear about what we’re potentially facing here,” she added.
LPAC board member Hilary Rosen led a Q&A with Mary Trump and covered a range of issues, including her coming-out story (“Oh, man, I’m not going to bore you”), whether she ever talked to Uncle Donald about being a lesbian (“No. They were really not at all interested in my personal life.”) and what she thinks the president genuinely believes about LGBTQ people.
“I don’t think he cares,” said Mary Trump. “I don’t think we’re of interest to him, except insofar as he can use being hateful toward the LGBTQ community ― taking away our rights with the stroke of a pen ― as useful to him.”
The president is “particularly vicious” toward transgender people, however, she said.
“Donald is somebody who just can’t handle difference, and it makes him really uncomfortable,” she said. “I think if you have a problem with somebody’s difference, you’re the problem, not them. But, of course, he doesn’t see it that way and unfortunately has a lot of power over people’s lives. His lack of caring, his discomfort with difference and his knowing that being cruel really plays well with the only people left who support him ― it’s a trifecta, unfortunately.”