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 SpicerSpicer puts his 'Dancing with the Stars' puffy neon green shirt up for charity auction Spicer on 'Dancing with the Stars': 'Those of us who stand for #Christ won't be discounted' Spicer makes debut on 'Dancing With the Stars' to Spice Girls song MORE and former campaign aides Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy Cruz endorses GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt MORE and David Bossie. Each of those individuals have written books about their time working with the president.

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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 TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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 RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.).

Sims also described White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump George Conway: If Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden, he 'should be impeached and removed from office' Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' 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 NewmanMichael Cohen denies Omarosa advising him in prison Trump renews attacks on Omarosa, slamming her as 'disgusting and foul mouthed' Ex-sycophants highlight the void of competence around Trump 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.