The co-author of Donald Trump's 1987 biography and business bestseller "The Art of the Deal" says the man behind the myth he helped create is a "sociopath" whose election could result in the end of the world as we know it.
In a scathing tell-all, Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump's breakout book, told the New Yorker that he could no longer sit silent as the Donald's presidential prospects grew from populist sensation to GOP heir apparent.
"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," he said.
The author — who described his decision to work with Trump despite his political and personal reservations as a "Faustian bargain" that tore the author "between the Devil and the higher side" — admitted regret for lauding a man he once wrote "stands for many of the things I abhor."
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"I put lipstick on a pig," Schwartz told interviewer Jane Meyer. "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."
His public disavowal of the man he helped make a star drew the ire of the defensive demagogue.
"I think you're very disloyal," Trump allegedly told Schwartz, according to the New Yorker. "Without me, you wouldn't be where you are now. I had a lot of choice of who to have write the book, and I chose you."
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"The Art of the Deal," a memoir the mogul has called his second favorite book, after the Bible, spent 48 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, including 13 at number one. The book's success mythologized Trump who became a household name synonymous with wealth and shrewd business practice.
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Schwartz claimed that Trump's fable of fame and fortune was woven largely from falsehoods or euphemisms the author crafted.
The writer told the New Yorker that Trump is a "hateful…one-dimensional blowhard" who is pathologically impulsive, "obsessed with publicity," self-centered and so cold he "pisses ice water."
Schwartz — who spent 18 months observing or interviewing Trump — says the tyrannical tycoon is a serial liar who spins stories about everything from his business dealings to his relationships with his family.
"Lying is second nature to him," he told the New Yorker. "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."
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In "The Art of the Deal," Schwartz made an effort to cast Trump's tenuous commitment to the truth in a positive light.
"I call it truthful hyperbole," the book reads. "It's an innocent form of exaggeration — and it's a very effective form of promotion."
Schwartz also believes the Donald's short attention span which makes it "impossible to keep him focused on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes," could compromise his ability to govern.
"If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room," Schwartz said, "it's impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time."
Trump maintains that he, not Schwartz — whose name is given a byline on the book's cover and was paid half of all royalties — is the book's principal author.
"He didn't write the book," Trump told the New Yorker. "I wrote the book. It was my book."
To right the wrong for which Schwartz feels responsible, he has pledged to donate all royalties from sales of "The Art of the Deal" in 2016 to charities — including the National Immigration Law Center, Human Rights Watch, the Center for the Victims of Torture, the National Immigration Forum, and the Tahirih Justice Center, all which benefit the people most at risk of the Republican presidential candidate's damaging xenophobic policies.Send a Letter to the Editor
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