The Psychopath in Chief

I spent hundreds of hours with Donald Trump to ghost-write ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I now see a deeper meaning behind his behavior.

Tony Schwartz
GEN
Published in
12 min readMay 28, 2020

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

“Imagine — if you can — not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken … You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences, will most likely remain undiscovered. How will you live your life? What will you do with your huge and secret advantage?”

— Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door

Among the accomplishments Donald Trump parades most proudly is that he has won 18 golf club championships. Like so many of his claims, this one is pure fiction. When the sportswriter Rick Reilly investigated for his book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, he found that 16 of the claims were transparently false, and no evidence existed to support the other two. In one instance, Trump said he had won a championship at the Bedminster, New Jersey, club he owns, even though he was in…

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Tony Schwartz
GEN
Writer for

CEO, The Energy Project. Author. The Art of the Deal ghostwriter now speaking out. Passionate about transforming the way the world works. Craves depth