President Donald Trump told The New York Times during a 2016 interview that his decision to cut off his nephew’s access to the Trump family’s medical benefits was made out of spite.
- Trump made the move after his nephew, Fred Trump III, and niece, Mary Trump, sued over a disagreement about Fred Trump Sr.’s will.
- The family patriarch died in 1999, and the night of the funeral, Fred III’s wife gave birth to their son, who developed seizures that led to cerebral palsy, The Times reported.
- The Trump family promised to take care of the child’s medical bills.
- However, the ensuing dispute over Fred Sr.’s will would bring that promise to an end.
The will, which Donald helped to draft, “divided the bulk of the inheritance, at least $20 million, among his children and their descendants, ‘other than my son Fred C. Trump Jr.’”
- Fred Jr., who died in 1981 at the age of 43 due to alcoholism, had a contentious relationship with both his father and younger brother, Donald.
- Fred Jr.’s “children sued, claiming that an earlier version of the will had entitled them to their father’s share of the estate, but that Donald and his siblings had used ‘undue influence’ over their grandfather, who had dementia, to cut them out.”
- The Times reported that one week later, Donald responded by withdrawing their family medical benefits, which were critical for Fred III’s infant son.
Donald explained his motivation to The Times in 2016, saying, “I was angry because they sued.”
He also said the legal dispute was later settled “very amicably.”