The co-author of Donald Trump’s memoir The Art of the Deal has claimed White House aides are “terrified” over the President’s mental health.
Tony Schwartz, who shadowed and interviewed Mr Trump over an 18 month period in the 1980s, has been a fierce critic of the 71-year-old since he took office in January.
Speaking to MSNBC, Mr Schwartz suggested Mr Trump was “deeply mentally ill” and “no longer connected to reality” following reports the billionaire has been peddling a series of conspiracy theories during private conversations.
“This is a guy in deep trouble and one of the problems we have right now is that we’re not very sympathetic to the psychological and to the psychiatric community, but that’s who we need to be talking to right now,” Mr Shwartz said to host Ari Melber.
He added: “This is a man who is deeply mentally ill.”
Mr Schwartz said two different people claiming to be from the White House had called an acquaintance over concerns about the President’s mental health.
Describing White House staff as “hostages to a cult leader”, Mr Schwartz insisted there were aides who “recognise what is going on”.
“All of America needs to understand that this is a person who is now exceptionally dangerous because he is losing his grip,” he added.
Asked if White House aides were afraid about the President’s mental health, Mr Schwartz said: “Oh absolutely, terrified.”
Mr Schwartz, who is not a doctor, made his comments in response to reports that Mr Trump has begun to suggest the infamous Access Hollywood tape, in which he is recorded saying he can grab women “by the p****”, is fake.
Despite apologising for the comments in the run-up to the election last year, the President has told allies the voice was not actually his, according to The New York Times.
The President’s apparent conspiracy theorising has also affected international relations with Britain – one of America’s closest allies – in recent days.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump took to Twitter to share three misleading, Islamophobic videos posted by the deputy leader of a far-right British organisation.
Following criticism from Theresa May, Mr Trump caused a fresh storm by telling the Prime Minister to stop focusing on him and “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom”.