Tony Schwartz — the author who ghost wrote President Donald Trump’s biggest bestselling book The Art of the Deal — said on Friday that Trump’s pledge to give $1 million to victims of Hurricane Harvey is an empty bluff.
“No way Trump donates $1m of own money to Harvey victims. He only promises to give. Never actually does,” said Schwartz on Twitter, according to the Hill.
No way Trump donates $1m of own money to Harvey victims. He only promises to give. Never actually does.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 1, 2017
Schwartz has been one of Trump’s most vocal and perceptive critics. He spent 18 months with Trump in the late 1980s observing his behavior and trying to stitch the then-real estate mogul’s personal philosophy into a narrative.
The author has disavowed the book itself and the role it played in launching Trump to prominence, ultimately paving the way for his election. Trump is a “living black hole,” Schwartz said, with a toddler’s attention span.
“Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote,” said Schwartz in 2016. “It’s impossible to keep him focused on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes.”
“Lying is second nature to him,” he wrote. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”
Trump has a long record of talking grandly about his charitable donations, but Pulitzer prize-winning work by the Washington Post‘s David Fahrenthold has revealed the president almost never gives to charity, but uses other people’s donations to his foundation if he follows up on his promises to donate at all.