NEW YORK – JANUARY 28: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Cliff Sims during Monday’s January 28, 2019 show. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images
- “Team of Vipers” author and former White House communications aide Cliff Sims is suing the office of US President Donald Trump.
- In the lawsuit, Sims says Trump is trying to silence him by enforcing a nondisclosure agreement he signed during the 2016 campaign.
- Sims accuses Trump of selectively enforcing the nondisclosure agreements, highlighting that he did not target other former campaign and administration staffers who wrote books about their time in Trump’s orbit — including former press secretary Sean Spicer and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Cliff Sims, the former White House staffer who wrote, “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House,” is reportedly suing President Donald Trump, according to a The New York Times report published Monday.
In the lawsuit, Sims says Trump is trying to silence him by enforcing a nondisclosure agreement he signed during the 2016 campaign. According to the New York Times, the president’s campaign organization filed an arbitration claim against the author last week.
Sims’ lawyer says the president, through his campaign organization is conducting its own campaign of retribution against unfavored former staffers that, if successful, will violate their rights to free speech.
Sims joined Trump’s presidential campaign in August 2016, “a role he parlayed into a special assistant to the President position before later serving as the director of White House message strategy,” INSIDER’s Anthony L. Fisher wrote ahead of an interview with the author.
Now, a little more than two years afger signing on with the president, Sims believes he is the target of US government “subterfuge” aimed at “silencing” White House critics.
The suit, available here in its entirety, was filed in Washington, DC, on Monday and will seek an injunction against the nondisclosure agreements that Sims says are being punitively wielded by a White House that the lawsuit says selectively targets former Trump staffers, depending on how they paint the picture of their time in Trump’s orbit.
Trump commented publicly on Sims’ book on January 29.
The suit clearly sets out to highlight the president’s selective use of of nondisclosure agreements.
Trump slammed his former staffer and longtime protégé Omarosa Manigault Newman with nondisclosure breaches when she published an unfavorable account of her days in the Trump White House.
nd then there is Sean Spicer, the former press secretary and the man who will go down in history for falsely declaring that the president garnered “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Spicer’s book was spared the enforcement of nondisclosure agreements.
According to the lawsuit, Sims alleges that the US government is “intentionally and unconstitutionally engaging in a subterfuge effort” to use Trump’s campaign organization, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc to “silence” some former staffers.
The suit argues that, “it is really the intense powers of the Presidency coming down” to silence Sims and wants a court injunction to block any nondisclosure agreements “that seek to unconstitutionally infringe upon (Sims’) First Amendment rights.”
In his interview with INSIDER, Sims described his book as unique among the current crop of White house tell-alls because he remains accountable. “I’m willing to put my name to this stuff. You can read some of these other books and see what anonymous sources say and you don’t know who they are. I’m right here. My name’s on the dang thing,” Sims said.
In a statement to The Times, Sims’ publishing house, St. Martin’s Press, expressed its support for the author.
“Recent attempts to selectively prevent former government employees from speaking and writing about their experience as public servants call for our scrutiny, and illustrate how essential the First Amendment is to the preservation of democracy,” the publisher wrote.