The ghostwriter of (i.e., the person who actually wrote) “The Art of the Deal” can’t take it anymore and speaks out on Donald Trump, saying that Trump is not just a sociopath, but is “The Sociopath”. Tony Schwartz spent 18 months following Trump around an listening in on Trump’s office phone conversations. And the prospect of Trump becoming president terrifies him: “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.”
Other things he says about Trump: “He has no attention span.” Trump is “like a kindergartner who can’t sit still in a classroom.” It is “impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes, and even then …” Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.”
Schwartz also says about Trump, “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 also says about Trump’s lying “He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Most of all, Trump lies about his deals, but he lies about almost everything: “Trump describes his father as having been born in New Jersey to Swedish parents; in fact, he was born in the Bronx to German parents.”
Trump claims to be “a warm family man with endless admirers” but according to Schwartz “Trump spent very little time with his family and had no close friends.” Trump describes himself as a self-made man, and even derides wealthy heirs as members of “the Lucky Sperm Club”. But the truth is that “Trump’s father was instrumental in his son’s rise, financially and politically.” Fred Trump had to co-sign many of Trump’s contracts, and when Trump couldn’t make payments on some loans, his father bailed him out.
In summary, Schwartz says “Trump stands for many of the things I abhor: his willingness to run over people, the gaudy, tacky, gigantic obsessions, the absolute lack of interest in anything beyond power and money.”
UPDATE: Of course, after this was published in the New Yorker, Donald Trump had his lawyers send a cease-and-desist letter to Schwartz. Schwartz responds by saying “I fully expected him to attack me, because that is what he does, so I can’t say I am surprised. But I’m much more worried about his becoming president than I am about anything he might try to do to me.”
Also published on Medium.