With Donald Trump just about to secure the Republican nomination, the ghostwriter who authored the real estate mogul’s book The Art Of The Deal is coming forward and saying what he really thinks of the bigoted billionaire.
In an interview with the New Yorker, writer Tony Schwartz discussed the things that the book left out and said he deeply regrets having made Trump out to be anything but the narcissistic pathological liar he really is.
I put lipstick on a pig. I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.
Trump had planned on writing an autobiography, but Schwartz convinced him to pen The Art Of The Deal instead. He then signed on to work as a ghostwriter on the project for half of the advance and of the royalties.
“It was one of a number of times in my life when I was divided between the Devil and the higher side,” Schwartz said, admitting that the dark side had obviously won him over on this one. He added that if he had the option to rename the book, he would title it The Sociopath.
I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.
Schwartz said that he intends to donate the royalties he earns from the book this year to charities like the National Immigration Law Center and Human Rights Watch.
I’ll carry this until the end of my life,” Schwartz told the New Yorker. “There’s no righting it. But I like the idea that, the more copies that ‘The Art of the Deal’ sells, the more money I can donate to the people whose rights Trump seeks to abridge.
According to Schwartz, Trump has a “completely compulsive” need for attention. Trump has such a love for publicity, that even enjoys negative attention. Schwartz said that before he signed on to author The Art Of The Deal, he had once written an article about some of Trump’s business dealings that cast the megalomaniac in a negative light. But Trump, drunk on the attention, praised the story.
I was shocked. Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote. Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever, or you’re the greatest. I became the greatest. He wanted to be seen as a tough guy, and he loved being on the cover.
Schwartz said that conducting research for the book was not easy because of Trump’s short attention span.
“It’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes,” Schwartz said. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time.”
In an effort to get the information he needed to write the book, Schwartz would often listen in on Trump’s phone calls. Not surprisingly, Trump got off on this too.
“He loved the attention,” Schwartz said. “If he could have had three hundred thousand people listening in, he would have been even happier.”
Above all, what Schwartz learned from his research into Trump and eavesdropping on his phone calls is that Trump is a con-man and a pathological liar. Most of the time, The Donald was simply “playing people.”
Lying is second nature to him. More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”
Schwartz said that Trump often lied about how much money he had spent or earned. “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it,” he said.
Schwartz called it “truthful hyperbole” in “The Art of the Deal,” which, in hindsight, he now deeply regrets.
“I created a character far more winning than Trump actually is,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said that if Trump is elected president, “the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he couldn’t care less about them.”
Trump is now insisting that Schwartz was not responsible for authoring the bulk of the book.
“He didn’t write the book,” Trump told the New Yorker. “I wrote the book. I wrote the book. It was my book. And it was a No. 1 best-seller, and one of the best-selling business books of all time. Some say it was the best-selling business book ever.”
Schwartz also said that Trump responded to his interview with the New Yorker by pitching an absolute fit.
“I just want to tell you that I think you’re very disloyal. Without me, you wouldn’t be where you are now,” Schwartz says Trump told him. “I had a lot of choice of who to have write the book, and I chose you, and I was very generous with you. I know that you gave a lot of speeches and lectures using ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I could have sued you, but I didn’t.”
Featured image via Crooks and Liars