A former White House aide revealed he was summoned by President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE in 2017 to try to find out which staffers were leaking to the media, creating lists of officials he thought he could and could not trust.
“Only in retrospect did I see how remarkable this was,” Cliff Sims, a former Trump campaign aide who joined the White House communications staff last January only to leave in May, writes in his upcoming memoir, “Team of Vipers” which was obtained by Axios.
“I was sitting there with the President of the United States basically compiling an enemies list — but these enemies were within his own administration. If it had been a horror movie, this would have been the moment when everyone suddenly realizes the call is coming from inside the house.”
In the memoir due out Jan. 29, Sims recounts the president as saying, “I want these people out of here. I’m going to take care of this. We’re going to get rid of all the snakes, even the bottom-feeders.”
Trump reportedly proceeded to make a list of 10 staffers he believed he could not trust, as well as five who he believed were not “leakers.” The aides deemed trustworthy were alumni of his campaign or family members.
The Trump administration is notoriously filled with staffers who speak anonymously with the press.
“[L]eakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!” the president tweeted in May.
The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2018