Another account of life inside the Trump White House is set to join the ever-growing canon on the subject.
Cliff Sims, a Trump adviser who joined the West Wing staff on Day One as a special assistant to the president after working on the campaign, is writing a memoir about his time working for the president. The book is set to be published in January, two sources familiar with the project said.
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Sims, who oversaw message strategy in the White House and was viewed as a MAGA loyalist who clashed with staffers whose backgrounds were from the “establishment” Republican National Committee, left the White House in May. His exit was not mourned by many of his detractors in the White House communications department, who said they did not trust him.
Back then, his allies said he was expecting to move over to the State Department. But Sims ultimately did not return to the administration.
Sims’ book, according to people familiar with the project, has been in the works for months and was described as a thoughtful and introspective portrayal of his time serving in the Trump White House. The book is modeled, those people said, on George Stephanopoulos’ tell-all memoir “All Too Human,” a personal account of his time serving as communications director in the Clinton White House. At the time, Stephanopoulos was criticized for pulling back the curtain while the president he had served was still in office.
Sims, who founded the conservative Alabama political blog Yellowhammer News before joining the Trump train, writes in detail about senior administration officials like counselor Kellyanne Conway, chief of staff John Kelly, former communications director Anthony Scaramucci and the president himself, the sources said. But the book is not simply an unloading of grievances on former colleagues. In the book, he also turns self-critical about the role he played in a snake-pit work environment, ultimately attempting to offer a candid view of what it was like on the inside from a position of access to the president, and as a person who took copious notes as part of his job.
Sims’ book is not a takedown, á la Omarosa Manigault Newman’s “Unhinged,” which was based on secret tape recordings she made of her colleagues while working by their sides, those people said. But neither is it a glowing, Trump-approved book like former press secretary Sean Spicer’s “The Briefing.” Even though it aims to strike some middle ground, people familiar with the text said, they expect it to be viewed inside a White House that brooks no criticism as another betrayal, nonetheless.
Sims did not respond to calls and text messages. White House officials said they were not aware of the book project, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to a request for comment about the project.
If past is prologue, Sims is in for a lashing from the president when his book hits the shelves. When Manigault Newman published her tell-all earlier this year, Trump called her a “dog” and a “crazed, crying lowlife,” and accused her of violating a non-disclosure agreement she signed during the campaign.
It was not clear how any non-disclosure agreement might affect Sims, or whether he was ever asked to sign one. The Trump campaign earlier this year sought legal action against Manigault Newman for breaching the agreement through her book.
Another question Sims will face is whether there is still appetite for more inside-the-room Trump stories from aides who appear to be cashing in as they are heading out. He’s also in competition with writers who are still telling the story from the inside out. The journalist Michael Wolff is also working on a sequel to his bestseller “Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”