WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took a swipe against former White House and campaign aide Cliff Sims, dismissing a tell-all book he penned as “yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction.”
“He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer,” Trump tweeted. “He signed a non-disclosure agreement. He is a mess!”
A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction. He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer. He signed a non-disclosure agreement. He is a mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2019
The book, titled “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House,” includes explosive accounts dating back to the Trump campaign. The events described include former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly bemoaning his role as “the worst f***ing job I’ve ever had” and Trump ripping into then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Sims, the former White House director of messaging, acknowledges that he served in low-level assignments, but claims he was present during key moments due to the chaotic nature of Trump’s orbit.
Trump’s tweet came while Sims was being interviewed on CNN’s “New Day.”
Former WH aide @Cliff_Sims responds after President Trump tweets about him while being interviewed on @NewDay: “Don’t matter to me what Donald Trump or anyone else says that I am.” https://t.co/TBcAJdJJZP pic.twitter.com/RjDdYLrhwS
— New Day (@NewDay) January 29, 2019
“Nice. There it is,” Sims said when presented with the tweet. “I knew that was a possibility when I wrote this book. My identity isn’t wrapped up in being a Trump staffer.”
When asked if he objected to being called a “gofer,” he replied “not even one bit.”
Sims’ book is the latest to give the White House heartburn.
Journalist Michael Wolff penned a book that included inflammatory quotes from former White House and campaign official Steve Bannon. After extensive media coverage,”Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” was released four days earlier than planned last January and quickly became a New York Times bestseller.
Last summer former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released an unflattering account of her time with Trump titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”
Last September, veteran reporter Bob Woodward published “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which portrayed a paranoid and back-stabbing West Wing staff.
The White House has largely avoided going after Sims so far.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders challenged one of the book’s anecdotes: an instance in which aide Stephen Miller allegedly said “he would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil.”
“I’m not aware of any statement like that that Stephen Miller has ever made,” Sanders said. “It’s certainly not the policy of the administration.”
Unlike her responses to other books, she did not give a broader denunciation.