Tony Schwartz, the man who ghost-wrote The Art of the Deal, told CNN on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s widely criticized response to the crisis in Puerto Rico is yet another example of his lack of empathy for other human beings.
Schwartz said that Trump suffers from an untreated psychological disorder, and is unable to actually empathize with other people except in the way that they talk about him personally.
“He’s incapable of comforting,” Schwartz explained during an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “When Donald Trump looks out into the world, what he says is a reflection of himself, and that self he sees is a black hole that is leaking and it’s leaking self-esteem at a very rapid rate. He needs to keep filling it up. The ability to see other people is almost nonexistent.”
Camerota pointed out that Trump seemed to show a great deal more empathy to victims of the massacre in Las Vegas than he did to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico — but Schwartz said that was just superficial sympathy that Trump employed as part of a performance to improve his image after his disastrous trip to Puerto Rico earlier this week.
“When he can be in a position of total and complete authority, then he can put on a show,” Schwartz explained. “That empathy is not empathy he’s feeling from the inside, he’s an actor in that role. In certain situations, when he’s not under a threat he can be an actor.”
Watch the interview below.