Tony Schwartz, ‘The Art of the Deal’ writer: Trump book should be recategorized as fiction
Tony Schwartz, an author who co-wrote President Trump’s best-selling 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” said it should be recategorized as fiction following new media reports about Mr. Trump claiming more than a billion dollars in business losses between 1985 and 1994.
Mr. Schwartz made the suggestion Wednesday on Twitter in the wake of The New York Times reporting that tax records revealed Mr. Trump claimed a total of $1.13 billion in businesses losses during the course of a decade touting himself as a successful real-estate tycoon.
“Given the Times report on Trump’s staggering losses, I’d be fine if Random House simply took the book out of print. Or recategorized it as fiction,” Mr. Schwartz tweeted.
Discussing the book and Mr. Trump’s taxes during a television interview later Wednesday, Mr. Schwartz suggested renaming “The Art of The Deal” to “The Sociopath.”
“I think that’s a window into why he doesn’t experience the kind of overwhelming pressure and tension at the level you or I would or most people would, because he has no conscience, he has no guilt,” Mr. Schwartz said on CNN. “All he wants to do is make the case that he would like to be true. And while I do think that he’s probably aware that more walls are closing around him than ever before, he does not experience the world in the way an ordinary human being would.”
Asked by CNN host Anderson Cooper where he seriously considers Mr. Trump to be a sociopath, Mr. Schwartz said “without any question” and urged viewers to look up its definition.
“The first or second entry gives you nine or 10 descriptive words about what a sociopath is, and it always includes a kind of pathological narcissism, which is what many people describe him as being. But it adds the element of absence of conscience, and that changes everything,” the writer said about Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump reacted to The Times report about his taxes earlier Wednesday by saying that real estate developers were entitled to massive write-offs during the 1980s and 1990s.
“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!”
Written decades prior to Mr. Trump entering politics, “The Art of the Deal” held the top spot on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than three months following its release and helped establish the future president’s reputation as a purportedly successful self-made billionaire.
Mr. Schwartz, 67, has since spoken critically of both Mr. Trump and their book together, and he previously compared co-writing it with putting “lipstick on a pig.”