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 SpicerTrump falsely claims his events have never 'had an empty seat' Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Sarah Sanders: I will walk out of the White House 'with my head held high' MORE and former campaign aides Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates 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 TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller 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 RyanEx-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud MORE (R-Wis.).

Sims also described White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayFederal guidance identifying 'go back to where you came from' as discrimination goes viral after Trump comments Kellyanne Conway says she meant 'no disrespect' with question about reporter's ethnicity Kellyanne Conway asks reporter 'what's your ethnicity' while defending Trump's 'go back' comments about minority lawmakers 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 NewmanPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank On The Money: Powell asserts Fed's independence amid new Trump attacks | House approves 3 billion spending package | CBO projects 'unprecedented' debt levels by 2049 | Democrats struggle with Trump tax law provision DOJ files federal lawsuit against Omarosa, alleging she violated ethics law 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.