'Art of the Deal' Ghostwriter Suggests Book Go Out of Print After N.Y. Times Trump Tax Exposé

Courtesy of Ballantine Books

The newspaper has reported that, between 1985 and 1994, Trump sustained a $1.17 billion loss.

The ghostwriter for now-President Donald Trump's 1987 book Trump: The Art of the Deal is suggesting the book be categorized as fiction or go out of print following a New York Times report that Trump lost over $1 billion in a 10-year period during which the book was published.

"Given the Times report on Trump's staggering losses, I'd be fine if Random House simply took the book out of print. Or recategorized it as fiction," Tony Schwartz wrote Wednesday on Twitter

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Random House, whose Ballantine Bantam Dell Books line reprints The Art of the Deal, for comment.

On Monday the Times reported that, between 1985 and 1994, Trump sustained a $1.17 billion loss, perhaps more than any other single taxpayer in America. As a result, "Mr. Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years," the Times reported. The president has famously refused to release any of his tax returns, though the Times previously published pages of Trump's 1995 returns, which were anonymously mailed to the paper, while another journalist received pages of his 2005 returns. The 1995 returns showed that Trump had sustained enough losses to legally avoid paying income tax on hundreds of millions of dollars for nearly 20 years; by 2005, he was paying taxes.

Information on the president's 1985-1994 returns was secured via "someone who had legal access to it," the Times said. Trump has called the report "inaccurate."

In the immediate wake of the report, Schwartz tweeted, "So the New York Times reports that Trump reported losses on his tax returns of more than $1.1 billion in ten years -- more than any American taxpayer. Worst businessman ever? Biggest tax cheat? It's one or the other -- and very likely both."

He added later, "Thelegal [sic] implications of Trump's staggering losses may have very little to do with the amount of money he lost -- although he was clearly a terrible businessman -- than with the fact that he likely committed vast tax fraud in claiming the level of losses he did."

The Art of the Deal, which remained on the New York Times best-seller list for 51 weeks, purported to provide 11 steps for business success while also sketching out some of Trump's early biography. In a 2016 New Yorker story on Schwartz's role in the book's production, the ghostwriter recalls that then-Random House owner Si Newhouse first pitched the idea of a Trump autobiography. Schwartz, then a journalist, claims that, while visiting Trump for an interview, he came up with the book's title and Trump asked him to write it. He says that he managed to get some material from Trump via short interviews and eavesdropping on him at Mar-a-Lago because he had a short attention span.

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he told the magazine. “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." Schwartz added that if he could rename the book today, he would call it The Sociopath.

During a 2016 CNN interview, Trump claimed The Art of the Deal was the "No. 1 best-selling business book of all time," a statement that Politifact has called "false."