Former White House aide says he's not worried about lawsuit over tell-all book

Former White House aide says he's not worried about lawsuit over tell-all book
© Greg Nash

Former White House aide Cliff Sims said Tuesday night that he's yet to receive formal notice of legal action from the Trump campaign after the president alleged he violated a nondisclosure agreement with his new tell-all book.

"At this point all it is is tweets," Sims said on CNN. "I haven’t seen any, I haven’t been sent anything on that. So just kind of waiting to see on that."

Sims indicated he's not concerned about a potential lawsuit, but acknowledged that he likely signed a nondisclosure agreement similar to those agreed to by former White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerThe five Trump communications directors who have come and gone New York state officials subpoena Trump Org's longtime insurance broker The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump fires back at new Dem probe MORE and former campaign aides Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiCNN's Chris Cuomo knocks 'state TV' Fox News T-Mobile says it increased Trump hotel spending after Sprint merger announcement The 81 names targeted in Democrats' expansive Trump probe MORE and David Bossie. Each of those individuals have written books about their time working with the president.


Sims, who has been on a media blitz to promote his book "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House," was the target of a tweet from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE on Tuesday morning. The president dismissed Sims as a "low level staffer that I hardly knew," and derided the book as "fiction." 

"I think it probably has honestly more to do with the coverage of the book than the book itself," Sims said. "He hasn’t read it. He won’t read it, and that’s OK."

Sims said he expected there was a chance Trump could lash out over the book given his tendency to do so toward other White House tell-alls.

During his roughly 18 months in the Trump administration, Sims served as director of White House message strategy and a special assistant to the president, sitting in on high-level meetings. He left his position last May.

In excerpts released from the book, Sims has described sitting with Trump and creating a list of problematic individuals working in the White House. Another excerpt describes Trump deriding former Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan joins board of Fox Corporation Bottom Line Paul Ryan says Trump will win reelection because of 'record of accomplishment' MORE (R-Wis.).

Sims also described White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway responds to Trump calling him a loser: 'Perfect example of the point I was making' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump praised George Conway's legal skills in 2006 letter MORE as a "cartoon villain brought to life" who bad-mouthed other staffers to the press. 

On CNN, Sims likened the ongoing efforts among staffers to gain favor with Trump to a "game of thrones" where each person sought to push out rival aides.

"It revealed a lot about myself. I learned a lot about myself there, and I can only speak from my personal experience there that I’d never had that kind of proximity to power," he said. "I’d never gotten to interact with the most powerful person in the world."

Sims's book is the latest in a string of insider books that have been written about the Trump White House. Former staffer Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanBlack journalists' group places CNN on 'special monitoring list' Juan Williams: Racial shifts spark fury in Trump and his base Omarosa: There's a ‘big red line’ for Trump in Cohen's testimony MORE, veteran journalist Bob Woodward and author Michael Wolff each wrote books that described the administration as a chaotic environment where the president and his advisers disparaged one another on a regular basis.

In each case, the president has lashed out at the author and pushed back against the claims made in the book. Trump called Woodward an "idiot," Manigault Newman a "dog" and described Wolff's work as a "fake book."

Each of those books spent time at No. 1 on The New York Times's best-seller list.