I doubt Donald Trump ever actually read either of Mary Trump’s books:
Mary Trump had good reason for seeking revenge, but mostly sticks to writing as a professional clinical psychologist in a case study of her infamous uncle. A severely damaged and dangerous personality totally unfit to be president. The best book about Trump I have read. (Amazon)
This book by psychologist Mary Trump, niece of Donald Trump, discusses the long term effects of trauma on groups of people. Trump looks at the history of the United States, and argues that some populations are still showing signs of PTSD as a result of their collective experiences. The book has four parts, with a total of nine chapters. (Amazon)
There is a reasonable chance his attention span enabled him to watch one of her many interviews on MSNBC, for example:
Now the headlines are reading like this because even though The NY Times story was published in 2018 Trump has decided to sue:
Even if he was aware that he met the criteria for what eminent social psychologist Erich Fromm called a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil”. He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity", Wikipedia Trump would have no inclination to hide the fact that he is a dangerous malignant narcissist because basically he has enjoyed manifesting the symptoms of malignant narcissism successfully enough to maintain his role as a powerful cult leader and for some a demigod.
According to Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary, malignant narcissism combines characteristics of:
Read more here: Malignant narcissism: What it actually means.
What has finally triggered him into action is that his clinical psychologist niece along with the New York Times has revealed something he is far more sensitive about and far more fearful about being used against him. This is of course his tax records and how they will be crucial evidence in an eventual New York trial where he will be accused of “having avoided gift and inheritance taxes by methods including setting up a sham corporation and undervaluing assets to tax authorities. The Times says its report was based on more than 100,000 pages of financial documents, including confidential tax returns from the father and his companies.” (Reference: Trump sues niece Mary Trump and 3 New York Times reporters over documents she gave them for detailed 2018 story on his taxes CBS News)
The ample evidence that Trump met the criteria for having narcissistic personality disorder, and the more dangerous malignant narcissistic disorder, was obvious to anyone who followed the many articles by mental health professionals. Woodward and Costa (in their book “Peril”) revealed that Paul Ryan did some research so he could better understand Trump’s behavior and came to the conclusion he had narcissistic personality disorder.
How many other Republicans wondered about Trump’s mental stability and did their due diligence in trying to understand what it meant may never be known. It’s quite possible that many of them shrugged it off as merely idiosyncratic behavior which was harmless and since Trump cultists ate it up they could turn a blind eye to the fact that it rendered him unfit to be president.
In “Peril” we see that euphemisms were used to describe Trump’s mental illness, but what is missing is any indication I have seen in the reviews and reports about the book to recounts from people close to Trump recognizing that words like “crazy” and phrases like “fucking moron” in his case meant that he was mentally ill and too impaired to be president. For example:
Emmett Flood, then counsel to Trump, conveyed to Barr his mood.
“The president’s going crazy,” he said. “You said nice things about Bob Mueller.”
Melania was having none of it, reportedly scolding her husband: “Are you crazy?”
In a vintagely Trumpian moment, she also said Barr was “right out of central casting”.
In another intriguing bit of pure political dish, Mitch McConnell is seen in the Senate cloakroom, joking at Trump’s expense.
“Do you know why [former secretary of state Rex] Tillerson was able to say he didn’t call the president a ‘moron’?” the Senate Republican leader asks.
“Because he called him a ‘fucking moron’.” (From “Peril review: Bob Woodward Trump trilogy ends on note of dire warning” in The Guardian)
I wonder whether in an insidious and very gradual way Mary Trump’s depicting him as someone whose mental impairments or psychiatric illnesses made him not only incapable of leading but also dangerous to our democracy had an effect on the notoriously incapable of conscious self-awareness Donald Trump.
Could this awareness have been gradually percolating up to a pre-conscious level? Could this be a part of why at this late date (the Times story was published in 2018) he decided to find an excuse to lash out at Mary Trump in a lawsuit that legal pundits dismiss as have just about no chance of success?
It seems unlikely but I think it is possible that Trump has had a smidgen of awareness that his behavior is aberrant and indicative of him having a psychiatric disorder. This awareness, if it came into consciousness, would be anxiety producing and quickly repressed have but if it occurred it would gradually have an effect on him. In keeping with his personality it would lead him to lash out. He can't sue Bandy Lee, John Gartner, Lance Dodes, or the other mental health professionals (myself included) who have made the case that he is dangerously mentally ill because it is their right to express their opinion. However, he can sue Mary Trump for something unrelated to her professional opinion of him.
No doubt Trump is afraid that as the legal process grinds on in New York where he knows he has more powerful enemies in Leticia James and Cyrus Vance than he has ever faced before, he also has to worry about the prospect of old sycophants who know where the bodies are buried like Alan Weisselberg turning on him to save his own ass, but eventually dare I say it for fear of jinking the ultimate justice, that allows the niggling fear to come into awareness that he may go to prison himself.
Yale psychiatrist backs Mary Trump’s assessment: The president "is mentally incapable of leading" "Any honest and competent mental health professional has come to the same conclusion," says Dr. Bandy X. Lee