Trump Is A 'Fraud, The Evil Sum Of His Deficiencies' Famed American Author Philip Roth Says

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas October 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With nine days to go before Election Day, Trump is hoping to inspire the GOP base, including evangelical Christians, to support him. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The famed American author Philip Roth excoriated President Donald Trump, calling him an "evil sum of his deficiencies" and a "massive fraud" in an interview published on Tuesday.

Roth, who wrote about the fictional election of a bigoted and isolationist Republican candidate in his 2004 book The Plot Against America, compared Trump to the book's President Charles Lindbergh—a character based off the real-life aviation hero—in a New York Times interview.

"Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism," Roth said, "but he was also—because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25—an authentic American hero 13 years before I have him winning the presidency.

"Trump, by comparison," Roth added, "is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac,"

President Barack Obama (R) presents the National Humanities Medal to Novelist Philip Roth during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC, March 2, 2011 JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

As the Times interviewer Charles McGrath points out, Roth's book was initially received as a commentary on George W. Bush's administration. The parallels to the Trump White House, however, "seems eerily prescient today," McGrath says.

Roth's book is set in an alternate reality where upstart candidate Lindbergh defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940 and then signs a treaty with Adolf Hitler, avoiding a war with the Nazi regime.

The real-life Lindbergh earned worldwide fame in 1927 when he became the first pilot to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, flying from New York to France.

"Lindbergh, historically, was the courageous young pilot who in 1927, for the first time, flew nonstop across the Atlantic from Long Island to Paris," Roth told the Times. "He did it in 33.5 hours in a single-seat, single-engine monoplane, thus making him a kind of 20th-century Leif Ericson, an aeronautical Magellan, one of the earliest beacons of the age of aviation."

The lionizing of the pilot—he received the Medal of Honor, the U.S.'s highest military honor, for the trans-Atlantic journey—launched him into the public eye and offered some authority when he ventured into the political arena.

During World War II, Lindbergh espoused isolationist beliefs from his platform on the America First Committee, an organization that opposed intervening in the war or offering American aid to England as it battled the Third Reich. Lindbergh was also a suspected fascist sympathizer.

It was Lindbergh's real-life accomplishments and public activism that made a fictional President Lindbergh seem plausible, Roth told the New Yorker in January 2017, shortly after Trump's inauguration. Likewise, it was the real estate mogul's lack of such credibility that made his victory strain credulity, he said.

"It is easier to comprehend the election of an imaginary president like Charles Lindbergh than an actual President like Donald Trump," Roth told the magazine at the time. "Lindbergh, despite his Nazi sympathies and racist proclivities, was a great aviation hero who had displayed tremendous physical courage and aeronautical genius in crossing the Atlantic in 1927.

"He had character and he had substance and, along with Henry Ford, was, worldwide, the most famous American of his day," Roth said. "Trump is just a con artist."