According to a detailed report at the Washington Post, in 1990 Donald Trump was facing personal bankruptcy and overwhelming financial demands from his first wife so he attempted to manipulate his father — whose mental health was in severe decline — to turn over his fortune, thereby shutting out the other Trump siblings.
The result, the report states, was years of enmity among the children of 85-year-old Fred Trump.
According to the report, “creditors threatened to force him into personal bankruptcy, and his first wife, Ivana, wanted ‘a billion dollars in a divorce settlement,” which led the future president to send “an accountant and a lawyer to see his father, Fred Trump Sr., who was told he needed to immediately sign a document changing the will according to his son’s wishes, according to depositions from family members.”
The report notes that at the time of the meeting, Fred Trump was in declining mental health and would “soon be diagnosed with cognitive problems, such as being unable to recall things he was told 30 minutes earlier or remember his birth date.”
According to the report, Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry was asked by her father to look at the request and she, in turn, gave the documents to her husband John Barry who had experience as an estate lawyer.
“I show it to John, and he says, ‘Holy sh*t.’ It was basically taking the whole estate and giving it to Donald,” Maryanne Trump Barry later said.
That, the report states, set off a war within the family that continues to this day with Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, now suing her uncle.
The report notes that Donald might have lied during a deposition about the money grab by saying, “he had no idea his father was suffering from dementia, saying his father was ‘very, very sharp’ at the time. But medical records and accounts by two of his siblings indicate the elder Trump’s cognitive abilities were already declining.”
The Post reports, “Fred Trump Sr. was formally diagnosed with ‘early stages of dementia,’ according to medical records that were disclosed in a 2000 court case brought by Mary Trump and others seeking a larger inheritance from the elder Trump’s estate.”
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