To Donald Trump, ‘Grifter’ Is An ‘Honorable Profession,’ Says ‘Art Of The Deal’ Ghostwriter Tony Schwartz

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In 1985 and 1986, author Tony Schwartz spent 18 months with Donald Trump — then known only as a brash, publicity-seeking New York City real estate developer — ghostwriting the book that would launch Trump as a national celebrity. The book was The Art of The Deal, and in working with Trump on the project, Schwartz “got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family,” according to a profile in The New Yorker magazine.

Since 2016, however, Schwartz has often been consulted by the media for his insights into Trump’s personality, and that was the case again on Thursday, as Raw Story reported, when MSNBC host Ari Melber asked Schwartz for his reaction to Trump’s claim that the Robert Mueller investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was “an attempted coup.”

“Everything about it was crooked — every single thing about it,” Trump told reporters, according to CBS News. “There were dirty cops. These were bad people.”

“If I say it, it’s true. If you say it, it’s false. That’s Trump,” Schwartz told Melber, as seen in the video below on this page. “His goal is to bring down the truth, lower the bar on what we think is true or false so low that we no longer notice the difference between what’s true and false.”

Schwartz said in the New Yorker profile that when Trump won the 2016 election, he felt a “deep sense of remorse” over writing Trump’s book, despite the fact that it made him millions of dollars in royalties. He told the magazine that if he were going to write a book about Trump today, he would title it The Sociopath.

Tony Schwartz speaks.
In the 1980s, Tony Schwartz spent 18 months with Donald Trump writing the book 'The Art of the Deal.'Featured image credit: Thos RobinsonGetty Images

Melber asked Schwartz about the indictment on Thursday of Greg Craig, a high-profile Washington, D.C., lawyer who had also served in the White House under President Barack Obama. Craig was indicted as a result of the Mueller investigation, for lying about his 2010 work in Ukraine on behalf of that country’s president Viktor Yanukovich, according to ABC News.

In Ukraine, Craig worked with Paul Manafort, who in 2016 was hired by Trump to run his campaign, and is now serving a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence on convictions for financial crimes stemming from his work in Ukraine for Yanukovich, as CNN reported.

“Trump has created a world in which grifting, being a grifter, is an acceptable, actually even an honorable profession these days,” Schwartz told Melber in the interview.

The indictment against Craig — a rare Democrat named in the investigation that has swept up mostly Republicans — charges the 74-year-old lawyer with lying to investigators and concealing information about his work in Ukraine, according to CNN.