New York (CNN Business)Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece, reveals in her forthcoming tell-all book that she was a source for The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the President’s tax returns.
The Times’ article — published in October 2018 by reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner — revealed that “through dubious tax schemes” Trump received “the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire.”
The Times said in its story at the time the article was based on tens of thousands of confidential records it had obtained.
In her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Mary Trump said that she provided the reporters 19 boxes of documents and explained how she ended up working with the newspaper.
A spokesperson for The Times did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday about Mary Trump’s account of events.
Mary Trump said she was initially approached at her home in April 2017 by Times reporter Susanne Craig.
“It is so not cool that you’re showing up at my house,” Mary Trump told Craig, according to the book, a copy of which was obtained by CNN on Tuesday.
“I understand. I’m sorry,” Craig replied, according to the book. “But we’re working on a very important story about your family’s finances, and we think you could really help us.”
Mary Trump said that she told Craig she couldn’t be of help, but that Craig left a business card and told her to reach out if she changed her mind.
“A few weeks later, I fractured the fifth metatarsal of my left foot,” Mary Trump said. “For the next four months, I was a prisoner in my home, my foot elevated at all times as I sat on the couch.”
During this period of downtime, Mary Trump said she kept the news “constantly on in the background” and scrolled through Twitter.
“I watched in real time as Donald shredded norms, endangered alliances, and trod upon the vulnerable,” Mary Trump wrote. “The only thing about it that surprised me was the increasing number of people willing to enable him.”
Mary Trump said she received a follow-up letter from Craig in which The Times reporter said documents she had could help “rewrite the history of the President of the United States.”
After initially ignoring Craig, Mary Trump said she changed her mind.
“As I watched our democracy disintegrating and people’s lives unraveling because of my uncle’s policies, I kept thinking about Susanne Craig’s letter,” she wrote. “I found her business card and called her.”
Initially, Mary Trump told Craig that she was no longer in possession of documents related to the estate of Fred Trump, President Trump’s father. But, according to the book, Craig suggested that the law offices of Farrell Fritz, which were involved in a settlement over the estate, might still have them.
Mary Trump wrote that she was initially told she could not take documents out of the firm’s offices because they belonged to her brother too. She smuggled documents and floppy disks out at first, but later discovered that “there were two copies of everything.”
After that revelation, she was told she could take documents from the office.
Mary Trump described driving to the loading dock of the building and loading 19 boxes into a truck.
“It was just beginning to get dark when I pulled into my driveway,” she wrote. “The three reporters were waiting for me in David’s white SUV, which sported a pair of reindeer antlers and a huge red nose wired to the grill.”
“When I showed them the boxes, there were hugs all around,” Mary Trump added. “It was the happiest I’d felt in months.”