Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s 1987 ‘Art of the Deal,’ thinks the president is having a mental health crisis
Donald Trump’s mental wellbeing and stability has long been a topic of lively, frantic discussion. The argument, mainly advanced by Trump’s political enemies, goes something like this: if the president isn’t mentally fit to hold office then he should be removed and replaced according to the obscure and little-used 25th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Earlier this year, in fact, lawmakers invited Yale University psychiatry professor Dr Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill to brief them on concerns about the president’s state of mind.
“He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs,” she said in her ominous, professional opinion.
Things reached such a fevered pitch that Trump went on to issue one of his most infamous tweets ever in which he called him self a “very stable genius”.
....to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
But one person who is still deeply troubled by the president’s mental state is his ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author Tony Schwartz. The 66-year-old writer told CNN that he thinks the president is having a “breakdown”.
“We are in a true emergency,” he said. “And the accelerated rate at which his breakdown or decompensation is occurring is cause for us, and certainly for me, to come onto TV more often, to tweet more often.”
Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump's 'Art of the Deal,' on media coverage of the President: "I believe the republic is at enormous risk that goes far beyond what most journalists are comfortable saying ... We are in a true emergency" https://t.co/pBjKC4VT5s pic.twitter.com/bbsPcRYtQ2— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) July 15, 2018
He also said he’d spent “an enormous amount of time” with psychiatrists who were trying to get to the bottom of Trump’s supposed condition.
The author elaborated his argument on Twitter…
What you are watching with Trump is what psychiatrists trust call decompensation (failure of reality testing) On one hand, he feels unchecked & free to define his own deluded reality. On the other, he's under siege, paranoid & willing to do anything -- anything -- to survive.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) July 14, 2018
The 1987 ‘Art of the Deal’ was a massive success for Trump and helped to establish him as a household name. It reached number 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and stayed there for 13 weeks.
Schwartz, however, has long been a thorn in the president’s side and has publicly disavowed his previous work with Trump.
“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said in a 2016 interview with The New Yorker. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.”
But there are some big, big problems with Schwartz’s argument. The first is that diagnosing mental ill health is complex at the best of times, so trying to diagnose someone without actually spending much time with them is nearly impossible.
It also makes you think that rather than putting so much focus on trying to remove Trump from office for supposed mental illness, or even alleged Russian collusion, the Democrats must instead learn from their mistakes in the 2016 presidential campaign and make sure they’re building a popular, progressive platform of ideas and policies to win over voters next time around.
Back in Trump-land, the latest step that’s been met with universal condemnation is the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, where he sided with the foreign leader over his own security services.
According to ABC, when asked if he believed US intelligence agencies, which concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help him defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump said he was not convinced.
“I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia],” Trump said.
“President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”