Trump's Ghost Writer Calls Him a ‘Sociopath,’ Says Presidency Would Cause “End of Civilization” (UPDATE)

Donald Trump's ghost writer, Tony Schwartz, called the GOP nominee a "sociopath" and said his presidency would "lead to the end of civilization."

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UPDATED July 20, 8:10 p.m. ET: Tony Schwartz told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that Trump is trying to silence him with a cease and desist order.

Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz just told @maddow on @MSNBC that Trump has sent him a cease and desist to stop him from speaking.

See original story published on 7/18/16 below.

In a revealing interview for the New Yorker, the ghost writer who worked with Donald Trump on his best-selling memoir, The Art of the Deal, says that he now has immense regrets about glossing over problematic elements of Trump's history. Tony Schwartz, the real author of the book that threw Donald Trump into the national spotlight in the late-1980s, told the New Yorker that Trump is a "sociopath" and that a Trump presidency would possibly "lead to the end of civilization."

According to the New Yorker story about Schwartz and his feelings about the way he wrote The Art of the Deal, Schwartz spent a significant amount of time with Trump over the course of 18 months beginning in 1985, where he got to know the billionaire exceptionally well. Schwartz described a sense of increasing anxiety and uneasiness as Trump's presidential campaign gained steam, and finally decided he needed to tell the truth about Trump that hadn't been revealed in The Art of the Deal

Schwarz told the New Yorker,

I put lipstick on a pig. 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.

Schwartz also said that The Art of the Deal should really be titled, The Sociopath.

Schwartz also said that Trump had an alarmingly short attention span, which he sees as a dangerous quality for a president to have, and that the short attention span further explains Trump's "stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance." Schwartz added that he doubts Trump has ever read an entire book in his adult life, saying that in the 18 months he spent with Trump, he never saw a book in the real estate tycoon's apartment or office.

Schwartz told the New Yorker that he had noted in his journal from the time that he was writing The Art of the Deal that Trump had a bottomless desire for public attention. The New Yorker reports that in a 1986 journal entry, Schwartz wrote, "All he is is 'stomp, stomp, stomp'—recognition from outside, bigger, more, a whole series of things that go nowhere in particular."

But ultimately, Schwartz acknowledged that the book wouldn't sell well if Trump seemed like a terrible person, and thus he made the conscious decision to paint Trump as a more sympathetic and likable character, a decision about which he now feels "deep remorse."

Schwartz told the New Yorker that all of the royalties he earns from the Art of the Deal in 2016 will be donated to National Immigration Law Center, Human Rights Watch, the Center for the Victims of Torture, the National Immigration Forum, and the Tahirih Justice Center, all charities which benefit groups that a Trump presidency would likely further marginalize and endanger.

Schwartz made it clear that he feels awful about the role he played in making Trump a nationally known and worse: liked figure, but knows there is no way to make it right. In his interview he said,

I’ll carry this until the end of my life. There's no righting it. But I like the idea that, the more copies that The Art of the Deal sells, the more money I can donate to the people whose rights Trump seeks to abridge.

When Schwartz informed Trump that he would be speaking out about The Art of the Deal, the New Yorker reports that Trump called him "disloyal" and told him to "have a nice life." 

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