Donald Trump And Sister Maryanne Had A Complicated Relationship Over The Years

Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump's eldest sister, has died at 86 years old. Barry was a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and as such, she had her own set of political views just like her famously opinionated brother. Despite their similar upbringing, though, Barry's political stances over the years were very different from that of Trump's. Barry supported immigration, was vehemently pro-choice, and wasn't quite as fixated on money as her brother. This seems like a recipe for a sibling rivalry, and at times, it was. Yet, the truth about Barry's relationship with Trump was complicated and ever-changing. 

During an appearance on Bloomberg TV, Trump said that if Barry were to become a Supreme Court justice, "I think she would be phenomenal; I think she would be one of the best," and called his sister "very smart and a very good person." Barry was a bridesmaid in her brother's first wedding, and there were plenty of occasions during which she publicly defended him. According to folks close to the family, Barry was one of the few people whose advice Trump often sought out. Despite their clear sibling love, Barry told New York Magazine, "I knew better even as a child than to even attempt to compete with Donald." And, this dynamic would eventually cause tension between the siblings. 

Barry and Trump had both differences and love for each other

In 2018, in recordings of Barry from The Washington Post, she made it clear that she didn't blindly support her brother. She said, "All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles. None," adding, "It's the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel ... You can't trust him." Clearly, Trump's actions had deteriorated Barry's high opinion of him. Still, politics didn't always get in the way of their brother-sister friendship.

When the pair spoke to New York Magazine in 2002, Trump spoke with pride of Barry's accomplishments. In turn, she gave an example of why she loved her brother so much. "Six years ago, I had an operation," she explained. "Donald came to the hospital every single day. Once would have been enough — the duty call. That's how love shows, when you go that extra yard." She added, "Last year, on his birthday, I had a little dinner at my apartment. I cooked. No maids, I don't have a maid. And Donald said afterward, 'That was just like Mom made!' That was what I was waiting for. Just like Mom made." Trump expressed his gratitude for her words, adding, "She's never told me that before," to which Barry joked, "My praise is sparing as the older sister." Despite differences, their deep sibling bond was easy to see when the two spoke, and it's clear that Trump will be among the many mourning her loss.