Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote The Art of the Deal and helped build President Donald Trump’s false reputation as a savvy businessman, has now spent about three years making it extremely clear that he never wanted any of this.
Now, that message also comes with a note to his publisher. Schwartz tweeted Wednesday evening that he would “be fine if Random House simply took the book out of print. Or recategorized it as fiction.”
His statement came in response to a report The New York Times published on Tuesday showing that from 1985 to 1994, Trump reported $1.17 billion in losses on his federal income taxes. From year to year, he lost “more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer,” the paper reported.
Schwartz said on Twitter that he did not know about these losses at the time he wrote the book.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) May 9, 2019
This is far from the first time Schwartz has publicly denounced the book, for which he interviewed Trump over the course of a year and a half in the mid-1980s. In the summer of 2016, as the presidential election approached and Trump’s campaign was at full steam, The New Yorker published a long feature on Schwartz, who until the presidential campaign had not talked about The Art of the Deal in decades.
Schwartz told The New Yorker‘s Jane Meyer that he deeply regretted his role in mythologizing the man who he now believed could “lead to the end of civilization.” Today, he would title the book “The Sociopath,” he said.