The coauthor of Donald Trump’s bestselling book “The Art of the Deal” is helping Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton prepare for this autumn’s presidential debates, according to a report from Maggie Haberman at The New York Times.
The news is certain to incense the Republican nominee’s legal team, who has had author Tony Schwartz in its cross hairs since early summer. Schwartz, who came to know Trump intimately during the 18-month project that became “The Art of the Deal,” has publicly excoriated the candidate in recent months, earning cease and desist letters and aggressive posturing from lawyers representing the Trump Organization.
“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information,” Schwartz told Haberman. “He will be unable to practice for these debates. Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”
“Even so,” he cautioned, “Clinton has to be careful. She could get everything right and still potentially lose the debates if she comes off as too condescending, too much of a know-it-all.”
The Times reports that Schwartz’s notes about Trump’s style, habits, and personal idiosyncrasies are being compiled for review by a team of psychology experts, to generate a psychological profile of the candidate with an eye towards getting under his skin.
The Trump legal team has aggressively hounded the author, asserting his public statements violate a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) Schwartz signed when his work with Trump began in the 1980s. They contend his breach of the NDA entitles Trump to damages. (Trump’s Lawyers Are Hounding Ghostwriter Of ‘The Art of the Deal’)
Jason Greenblatt, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, sent Schwartz a cease and desist notice in July, claiming his remarks constituted a breach of the agreement he executed with Trump prior to the book’s publication. Greenblatt demanded that Schwartz forfeit all royalties he collected — which total several million dollars — and a written retraction of his defamatory statements.
“Simply stated, your statements are not only completely disingenuous, but replete with outright lies, false and destructive statements, and downright fabrications which you know to be completely untrue, thereby exposing you to liability for damages and other tortious harm,” the letter reads.
Though The Daily Caller News Foundation has not independently confirmed that additional action is pending from Trump’s legal team concerning Schwartz, their cause against him could be bolstered by his collusion with the Clinton campaign. Nonetheless, NDA’s can be difficult to enforce in a variety of contexts.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
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