Then-President Donald Trump removing his mask upon his return to the White House from the hospital, where he was being treated for COVID-19. Getty Images News

Trump famously tore off his mask at the White House while still infected with COVID-19 last year.

In her new book, his niece Mary said she believed he was “afraid” at the time.

“Doing his best Mussolini imitation, he took off his mask in a macho display of invulnerability,” she wrote.

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Former President Donald Trump was “doing his best Mussolini imitation” when he removed his mask while still infected with COVID-19, his estranged niece Mary has said in her new book, which was excerpted by The Guardian.

Trump was widely criticized last October when he checked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center despite still being infected with the coronavirus. When he returned to the White House by helicopter, he removed his mask for the cameras while appearing to struggle for breath and wince in pain.

Writing in her new book “The Reckoning,” Mary Trump – a clinical psychologist – said the former president was “afraid” when he made the display.

She described a pained expression on his face that she recognized from his grandmother, the excerpt said.

“Doing his best Mussolini imitation, he took off his mask in a macho display of invulnerability,” Mary wrote, referring to Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator who ruled Italy from the 1920s to 1940s.

Mary Trump added of her uncle: “He clenched his teeth and jutted out his jaw, just as my grandmother did when she was biting back anger or clamping down on her pain. In Donald, I saw the latter.”

Mary, a clinical psychologist, is the daughter of Donald Trump’s late brother Fred Trump Jr. Her latest book, “The Reckoning: Our nation’s trauma and finding a way to heal,” argues that America is collectively suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder inflicted by her uncle’s presidency.

A composite image of Mary Trump and Donald Trump. ABC News/YouTube; Getty Images

She also described in the book how Donald Trump had disregarded her concerns about her father’s burial, Insider’s Eliza Relman reported.

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“Donald had said it to me at my grandparents’ house in Queens when I’d asked him why my grandfather insisted that my father’s ashes were to be buried in the family plot instead of scattered off the coast of Montauk, as he’d wanted,” she wrote.

She wrote that Donald replied: “It is what it is, honeybunch.”

Mary Trump has long criticized her uncle Donald and called for his removal from office. A disclosure document released by the General Services Administration earlier this year also found that she helped fund President Joe Biden’s transition effort.

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