Mary Trump called her uncle the "weakest man" she's ever known -- and compared Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell to Robert E. Lee.
The twice-impeached one-term president's niece published a lengthy essay in The New Republic laying out her concerns that Donald Trump and his Republican allies were dead set on establishing a white supremacist minority rule over the United States, and explained what was necessary to prevent that.
"Donald showed his party (and yes, it is his party) the limits of pretending to care about good governance or play by the rules," Mary Trump wrote. "He also showed them the utility of not just stoking racism and hatred of the Other — in the form of immigrants, Democrats, and even epidemiologists — but championing those who espoused them."
She explained that her uncle excelled at destruction, and his Republican enablers exploited that skill to weaken the democratic institutions that McConnell had been chipping away at during his decades in the U.S. Senate.
"McConnell is the greatest traitor to this country since Robert E. Lee (with the difference that McConnell has been trying to take our country down from within)," Mary Trump wrote. "He has always been expert at using existing rules and procedures in ways they weren't intended to be used, and yet — whether it was denying Merrick Garland a hearing, pushing through Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation, or ending the filibuster as it applied to Supreme Court nominees but employing it to block legislation that would expand voting rights — his anti-democratic maneuvers have been performed within the bounds of the system."
"The fact that he's misusing the system outlined in the Constitution isn't an exoneration of him, however; it's a condemnation of the Constitution's limitations," she added. "The definition of treason in the Constitution is so narrow (levying war against the country or giving aid and comfort to the enemy) that a case could never be made against him. It would be difficult, however, to find anybody in modern times who has so undermined our democracy."
It's clear that democracy was already weak by the time her uncle showed up on the scene, Mary Trump argued.
"This destruction of norms by Donald and other Republicans in the executive and legislative branches has happened so quickly, and has been so thorough, that it's clear the seeds of it must have been planted a long time ago," she wrote. "It was possible for Donald, the weakest man I have ever known, to exploit the weaknesses in the system not because he introduced them, but because they were there for him to exploit in the first place."
She pushed back on the notion that Donald Trump had corrupted the Republican Party.
"The Republicans haven't lost their way," Mary Trump wrote. "They have, instead, found it. And it has led them straight toward unabashed white supremacy and fascism."