Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his book during a campaign stop at Iowa Central Community College on Nov. 12, 2015 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
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Trump takes steps to silence his former ghostwriter

The Rachel Maddow Show, 7/20/16, 7:44 PM ET

'Art of the Deal' ghostwriter speaks out

Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Donald Trump’s book “Art of the Deal”, speaks out about his experience of working with the GOP nominee.
Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Donald Trump’s book “Art of the Deal”, speaks out about his experience of working with the GOP nominee.
Tony Schwartz spent quite a bit of time with Donald Trump while working on “The Art of the Deal,” and gained valuable insights on the kind of man the New York Republican is. In fact, Schwartz is eager to tell the public about what he learned about Trump after their collaboration.
As Rachel discovered last night, Trump’s lawyers have a different plan in mind.
Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” told MSNBC Wednesday that the Trump campaign sent him a cease and desist letter in response to his comments about the Republican candidate.
Schwartz, a former journalist, was employed by Trump to ghostwrite his memoir in 1987. In an interview with MSNBC, Schwartz described the Republican candidate for president as “having no heart and no soul.”
Note, Schwartz recently sat down with the New Yorker to offer his perspective, and a FedEx delivery arrived soon after with a cease-and-desist letter – a development the author described as “nuts.”
“This notion that I didn’t write the book is so preposterous,” Schwartz added. “You know, I am not certain that Donald Trump read every word, but I’m sure certain that I wrote every word. And he made a few red marks on the manuscript and sent it back to me, and the rest was history. The idea that he would dispute that is part of why I felt I had to come forward. The notion that if he could lie about that he could lie about anything.”
Of course, the more Team Trump wants to shut Schwartz up, the more curious I am about what Schwartz has to say.
And so, if you missed it, be sure to check out Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece – the one that the candidate’s lawyers apparently don’t want us to read – in which Trump’s own ghostwriter said, among other things, that he’s terrified by the prospect of a Trump victory.
“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “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.” He went on, “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.”
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.”
The fact that Trump relied on a ghostwriter hardly comes as a surprise. Take five minutes to watch the Republican candidate speak or do an interview, and it becomes pretty obvious that he couldn’t compose a lengthy text on his own.
Rather, the significance here is that Trump’s ghostwriter learned quite a bit about Trump through the process, and found him to be mentally unstable.