The aura of Donald Trump – such as it is – largely began with the autobiography "The Art of the Deal," a work that has defined the real estate mogul's public person. But the man who served as a ghostwriter for Trump's 1987 screed has come out publicly as an ardent critic of the now presumptive Republican nominee for president.
Tony Schwartz, who was a prominent magazine writer at the time the book was published, feels a "deep sense of remorse" he helped create Trump, he told the New Yorker magazine in a tell-all feature. "'The Art of the Deal' made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth—and regrets it," the magazine notes.
"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," Schwartz told the New Yorker.
Wrote Jane Mayer in the article:
"If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, 'The Sociopath.'"
It's a bombshell report that cuts away at the mythology of Trump, a mythology that is built on his image as a dealmaker. That image was reportedly created by a writer – described in the piece as a "Dr. Frankenstein" or sorts – who regrets helping shape Trump's persona.
The article drops just as the Republican National Convention is set to begin Monday in Cleveland. While some GOP officials remain staunchly in the so-called "Never Trump" camp, the billionaire is expected to accept the party's nomination at the convention this week. On the heels of a number of high-profile shootings and deadly terrorist attacks, the theme of the first day is "Make America Safe Again" a play on Trump's now-famous campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again," according to Cleveland.com.
It's worth reading the entire New Yorker piece — found here — which explores Trump's persona as a businessman, parsing through what's fact and what's fiction.