Art of the Deal Co-Author on ‘Paranoid’ Trump’s Self-Destructive Streak: He ‘Has a Death Wish’


Tony Schwartz, co-author of Art of the Deal, dug into how Donald Trump’s self-destructive nature created the conditions for the Ukraine abuse of power scandal that now threatens his presidency with impeachment: “He’s a person who has a death wish that’s always been there.”

Speaking with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Schwartz recounted how, in the past, he has seen Trump create self-fulfilling prophecies of doom by projecting his paranoia and amoral worldview.

“What I see is that he’s a person who has a death wish that’s always been there, a self-destructive impulse,” Schwartz explained. “The way he views the world is that nearly everyone now is out to get him. And what he does is he creates the evidence to reenforce the view. It’s like a vicious cycle. So he’s constantly making true what he in his paranoid way fears is true.”

“Everything for him is basically a transaction,” Melber noted. “Hard for him to understand the notion there are ethics in government or business, right?”

“The word is invisible to him. Doesn’t mean anything,” Schwartz said, referring to ethics.

“You’re saying that, in that cynicism, he then uncorks things that create a cycle that reenforces his cynical view?” Melber clarified.

“It’s funny to call it cynical. I think it’s more literally a need to see the world as against him at all moments because then he can be reactive and responsive and in his mind protect himself,” Schwartz said. “But you know the defense nearly always produces exactly what it’s meant to defend against. So he’s bringing his worst fears to life by doing what he’s doing.”

Then, in his inimitable style, Melber analogized Schwartz’s analysis of Trump to the anarchic, two boats dilemma orchestrated by The Joker in the finale of The Dark Knight.

“When you talk about them trying to get the world to react a certain way,” Melber noted, “he wants to prove people will kill each other for nothing and then he watches hoping they live that out because he has that belief.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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