In 1987, Tony Schwartz played a crucial part in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rise to fame. In 2016, he is advising the business mogul’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in her efforts to defeat Trump.
Schwartz ghostwrote the billionaire’s breakthrough memoir “The Art of the Deal,” which went on to become a best-seller and spent 48 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list – thirteen of them at No. 1.
The writer spent at least 18 months with the former reality TV star to study his behavior. He camped out in Trump’s office, tagged along at meetings, and spent weekends with him at his various properties. During that period, Schwartz felt he got to know Trump better than almost anyone else outside his family.
“Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein,” said Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York Magazine, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time.
Ahead of the highly anticipated showdown between Trump and Clinton AKA the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, the journalist told CNN that he is now advising the Clinton campaign for free.
“This is my penance for having created a man who has become a monster, and I’ve spent 30 years feeling bad about it,” Schwartz said Monday night. “Now I feel like I’ve got to show that there’s nobody behind the curtain.”
Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s “Art of the Deal” told CNN he is advising Hillary for no money as penance for “creating a monster.” #wow— Eli Lake (@EliLake) September 27, 2016
“There was nothing I found appealing,” he responded when CNN asked him to name one appealing thing about Trump. “This is a man who I really believe lacks a conscience at the deepest level, so there really was nothing. He was effective in certain ways, he’s a dominant, aggressive personality and he pushes and he pushes and he pushes and he gets a lot of what he wants.”
“He’s a liar then. He’s a liar now,” Schwartz added.
I predict Trump will refuse to do further debates. When you're knocked out cold, you don't want to get back in the ring.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 27, 2016
Shows you the difference between real preparation and totally winging it. Trump was an embarrassment to Americans— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 27, 2016
Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. Nothing about the debate tonight will change that.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 26, 2016
Donald Trump proved once and for all he cannot change: ignorant, bullying, dishonest -- even worse than I expected and I didn't expect much.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 27, 2016