UPDATE: In her interview with ABC News, Mary Trump defended one of the headline-grabbing claims in her new book, that her uncle Donald Trump hired a friend to take the SAT as way to improve his chances of getting into the University of Pennsylvania.
In a portion of the interview shown on Good Morning America on Wednesday, George Stephanopoulos asked her how she knows that given that it happened in 1964.
“I’ve been told this by people in my family,” she said. “I am absolutely confident that it’s true. I am happy finally to be able to speak about it. I also know that it is not the Joe Shapiro we have been focusing on.”
She identified Shapiro as the friend who Trump paid to take the test. But as details of the book were reported last week, Shapiro’s widow, Pam Shriver, posted a video that cast doubt on the claims, insisting that her late husband and Donald Trump met when he was already a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I feel terrible that [Shriver] has been subjected to this,” Mary Trump said. “I wish I could have said something sooner, and I think the only people other than me who can address it are other people in my family and I look forward to hearing their response to that question.”
Stephanopoulos then asked, “How do you know it’s true?”
“I trust my sources,” she said. Although she said she has not met Joe Shapiro and doesn’t know if he is alive, she said that her sources were “alive at the time so they have first-hand knowledge of this.”
“I am counting on people I trust who told me this story, so in terms of documentation, no I can’t prove it, but I can certainly say with 100% certainty that I was told this story by a source very close to Donald.”
The White House has denied Mary Trump’s claim, calling it “absurd” and “completely false.”
PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY, 6:05 PM PT: In the first excerpts of her interview with ABC News, Mary Trump recalled visiting the Oval Office just a few months after her uncle, Donald Trump, took office.
“He already seemed very strained by the pressures … and I just remember thinking, ‘He seems tired. He seems like this is not what he signed up for,'” she said.
She said that Trump was “utterly incapable of leading this country,” and that it was even “dangerous” for him to do so.
George Stephanopoulos asked her, “If you’re in the Oval Office today, what would you say to him?” She responded, “Resign.”
PREVIOUSLY, 12:49 PM PT: ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos sat down with Mary Trump, the president’s niece, on Tuesday for what is being billed as an exclusive interview about her new tell-all book.
The interview will air on Good Morning America on Wednesday, the network said, and on other news shows.
On Monday, a New York judge lifted a restraining order that prevented Trump from discussing Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man. The president’s brother, Robert Trump, had sought to halt publication of the book, claiming that she was barred from discussing the family as part of a settlement agreement of the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the family patriarch.
The book was released by Simon & Schuster on Tuesday.
In the New York case, Judge Hal Greenwald rejected Robert Trump’s argument that the settlement’s confidentiality clause included never discussing the family. He wrote that “what was confidential was the financial aspect of the Agreement, which may not be so interesting now as it might have been in 2001. On the other hand the non-confidential part of the Agreement, the Trump family relationships may be more interesting now in 2020 with a presidential election on the horizon.”