Donald Trump’s co-author on the 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” feels a “deep sense of remorse” for contributing to the business mogul’s popularity, saying there is “an excellent possibility” that a Trump presidency would lead to the end of civilization.
“We had a successful experience together. I never in a million years thought he would run for president. Had I thought that 30 years ago, I wouldn’t have written the book,” author Tony Schwartz, who had ghostwritten Mr. Trump’s breakthrough memoir, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News Monday. “But for 29 years, I didn’t think he would, and it didn’t seem like it was important to speak out. I now feel it’s my civic duty.”
Mr. Schwartz broke his silence about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in an interview with The New Yorker published Monday.
“I put lipstick on a pig,” Mr. Schwartz said. “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.”
He added, “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.”
Mr. Schwartz said that if he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, he would rename it, “The Sociopath.”
“This is a man who has more sociopathic tendencies than any candidate in my adult life that I’ve observed,” he told ABC News.
“You know, it’s a terrifying thing. I haven’t slept a night through sinceDonald Trump announced for president because I believe he is so insecure, so easily provoked and not — not particularly — nearly as smart as people might imagine he is,” he said. “I do worry that with the nuclear codes, he would end civilization as we know it.”
When told about Mr. Schwartz’s remarks, Mr. Trump told The New Yorker, “He’s probably just doing it for the publicity.”
“Wow. That’s great disloyalty, because I made Tony rich,” Mr. Trump said. “He owes a lot to me. I helped him when he didn’t have two cents in his pocket. It’s great disloyalty. I guess he thinks it’s good for him — but he’ll find out it’s not good for him.”
Mr. Schwartz said he wrote “every word” of Mr. Trump’s book, which held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ nonfiction best-seller list for 51 weeks, ABC News reported.
“He didn’t write the book,” Mr. Trump responded. “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.”