The book, called “The Art of the Deal” was written by Tony Schwartz and released in 1987. It is often referenced by Donald Trump on the campaign trail and has helped propell Mr. Trump to Republican presidential nominee status.
In it, Tony Schwartz portrayed Donald Trump as a clever businessman, able to use his exceptional gifts for the good of all. But now, years after The Art of the Deal was released, Mr. Schwartz is speaking out, saying that his book he wrote about Donald Trump is all fiction.
In an interview with The New Yorker magazine for its July 25 issue, Mr. Schwartz explained publicly, and for the first time, what he learned from living in Mr. Trump’s world. Here are some highlights.
The Art of Regret
Mr. Schwartz, a former magazine writer who said he worked on the book because he needed the money, told the writer Jane Mayer that he painted Mr. Trump in the most positive light that he could, thinking that a sympathetic character would be better for the book’s sales than a story about a cruel tycoon. If he could do it over again, however, Mr. Schwartz said the book would be titled “The Sociopath.”
“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,” Mr. Schwartz said. “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’s a living black hole!” Mr. Schwartz said he used to tell his wife after long days with Mr. Trump. He described Mr. Trump as a painful interview subject who could not handle questions that required any depth to answer and who had little recollection of his youth. When pressed, Mr. Schwartz said, Mr. Trump would grow fidgety, angry and sometimes quit despite the fact that they were ostensibly working together on the book. He had no attention span, Mr. 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,” Mr. Schwartz said of Mr. Trump’s inability to focus.
A Thirst for Attention
People often ask Mr. Trump why he is really running for president, and he has always responded by saying that he wants to make America great. Mr. Schwartz has a different theory, explaining the bid as part of a continuum of Mr. Trump’s need for attention. He recalled that as a young man, Mr. Trump was happy to receive publicity of any kind, luring the tabloids to chronicle his life. His turn as the host of “The Apprentice,” the NBC reality show, solidified him as a media star, and running for president was the next logical step, Mr. Schwartz said.
“If he could run for emperor of the world, he would,” Mr. Schwartz said.0