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.