Tony Schwartz, the co-writer of Donald Trump's 1987 best-selling book "The Art of the Deal," recently expressed his fear of the Republican presidential nominee being entrusted with the nation's nuclear codes and referred to him as a "sociopath" (video below).
Schwartz made his revelations in a newly-published article in The New Yorker. Asked why he decided to speak out now, Schwartz told "Good Morning America" on July 18: "I now feel it's my civic duty. I have nothing to gain from this."
Schwartz added that the book was "full of falsehoods."
"I think this is a man who has more sociopathic tendencies than any candidate in my adult life, that I've observed," Schwartz said. "And so, yeah, I do regret writing the book."
"I put lipstick on a pig," Schwartz told The New Yorker. "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. 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."
If Schwartz were penning "The Art of the Deal" in 2016, he said the title would be "The Sociopath."
Before writing "The Art of The Deal," Schwartz had written an unflattering article in 1985 about Trump trying to evict some tenants that were under rent-controlled and rent-stabilized prices, which, surprisingly, resulted in a complimentary note from Trump.
"I was shocked," Schwartz recalled. "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 recalled that Trump later offered him the deal to write the autobiography: "It was one of a number of times in my life when I was divided between the devil and the higher side."
Schwartz’s wife was pregnant with their second child and the pay for the book was hard to resist: "I was overly worried about money. I thought money would keep me safe and secure—or that was my rationalization."
Schwartz observed what he called Trump's short attention span throughout the book writing process and said it has resulted in "a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance. That’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source—information comes in easily digestible sound bites. I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life."
In response to Schwartz's remarks, Trump told The New Yorker: "He’s probably just doing it for the publicity. Wow. That’s great disloyalty, because I made Tony rich. 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."
Schwartz said that he recently got a phone call from Trump: "I hear you’re not voting for me. I just talked to The New Yorker—which, by the way, is a failing magazine that no one reads—and I heard you were critical of me."
"You’re running for president," Schwartz recalled telling Trump. "I disagree with a lot of what you’re saying."
According to Schwartz, Trump fired back:
That’s your right, but then you should have just remained silent. I just want to tell you that I think you’re very disloyal. 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, 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.
Schwartz said that he informed Trump that his consulting business is not involved with "The Art of the Deal."
"I don’t take it personally, because the truth is he didn’t mean it personally," Schwartz told the magazine. "People are dispensable and disposable in Trump’s world."
Schwartz issued one last warning: "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."