Ghostwriter Regrets Role in Creating Trump's Successful Image

Tony Schwartz says expresses remorse for making Trump 'more appealing than he is.'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Saturday, April 2, 2016, during a campaign rally at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wis.

The ghostwriter of Donald Trump's bestselling 1987 memoir "The Art of the Deal" regrets his role in creating the image of Trump as a successful deal maker — the foundation of his presidential campaign.

Tony Schwartz said he fears a Trump presidency and feels remorse for making Trump "more appealing than he is."

"I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization," he told The New Yorker magazine in article posted on its website Monday.

Schwartz says he feels he sold out on his former career as a journalist when he agreed to share Trump's half-million-dollar advance to write the book.

"The Art of the Deal" led to Trump's starring role in the reality TV show "The Apprentice."

Schwartz said he "put lipstick on a pig" in his portrayal of Trump. He said he turned down an offer from Trump to write a sequel.

He decided to speak out because he wouldn't have been able to forgive himself if he stayed quiet and Trump won the election.

Schwartz, who shared credit as a co-author with Trump, said he wrote the book largely by himself, with minor editing by Trump. In an interview with The New Yorker, Trump acknowledged Schwartz as his co-author but insisted he wrote his own memoir.

"He owes a lot to me. I helped him when he didn't have two cents in his pocket. It's great disloyalty. I guess he thinks it's good for him — but he'll find out it's not good for him," Trump said.

Schwartz said if he was writing the book today, the title would be "The Sociopath."