Team of Vipers

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Team of Vipers
Team of Vipers cover.jpg
AuthorCliff Sims
CountryUnited States
SubjectTrump Administration
PublisherThomas Dunne Books
Publication date
January 29, 2019
Media typePrint, e-book, audiobook
ISBN978-1250223890 (Hardcover)

Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House is a book-length memoir written by former Trump administration Special Assistant to the President and Director of Message Strategy[1] Cliff Sims who had previously operated the conservative Alabama news site Yellowhammer News. Team of Vipers was released on January 29, 2019.[2][3] Sims worked on Trump's presidential campaign and then in the White House communications office[4] from January 2017 to May 2018.[5] The White House said Sims was fired, while he said he left to find a work in "a really strong team environment".[6]

On January 29, 2019, President Donald Trump tweeted that the book is "boring" and "fiction" and that Sims was a "low level staffer" who "pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer".[7] Trump's campaign committee announced that same day that it was planning to sue Sims for violating a non-disclosure agreement.[8] The Trump White House routinely required staff to sign non-disclosure agreements, though Sims said he did not remember whether he signed one.[9] Legal observers said that Sims' experiences while a federal employee could not be covered by a non-disclosure agreement.[10]

In February 2019, Sims filed a civil suit against Trump in his official capacity as president for allegedly attempting to enforce a nondisclosure agreement that Sims may have signed upon joining the Trump administration. Sims contends his book contained only information he gained as an employee of the federal government and hence any nondisclosure agreement is unenforceable and violates his First Amendment rights.[11] After a short legal dispute, Trump realized that the book actually put him in a positive light while criticizing senior staff. As a result. the suits were dropped and Sims has remained a close ally to the Trump family.[12]

In August 2020, it was reported by several outlets[13] that Cliff Sims was once again working for the Trump administration, performing speechwriting duties for the 2020 Republican National Convention. In October 2020, it was repointed that he had rejoined the Trump administration as a senior adviser to the director of national intelligence.[12]


  1. ^ Laviola, Erin (January 21, 2019). "Cliff Sims: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  2. ^ Swan, Jonathan (January 29, 2019). "Trump disavows Cliff Sims on "Team of Vipers" release date". Axios. Retrieved January 30, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ McLaughlin, Aidan (November 19, 2018). "Team of Vipers: Ousted Trump Aide Reportedly Nabs Seven-Figure Advance For White House Tell-All". Mediaite. Retrieved November 19, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Haberman, Maggie (November 19, 2018). "Book Offers Firsthand Account of a Venomous Den Inside the White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 19, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Karni, Annie (November 16, 2018). "Another Trump aide tell-all due to hit shelves in January". Politico. Retrieved November 19, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Former White House aide Cliff Sims describes 'team of vipers' under Trump in interview on new book". ABC News. January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (January 29, 2019). "A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims..." (Tweet). Retrieved January 29, 2019 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Trump Campaign to Sue Ex-White House Aide Cliff Sims for Violating NDA Despite President Saying Book is 'Fiction'". Newsweek. January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Wagner, John; Dawsey, Josh (January 29, 2019). "Trump disses former aide Cliff Sims as he dishes about his new tell-all book". Washington Post. Retrieved January 29, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Blitzer, Ronn (January 29, 2019). "If Trump Campaign Sues Former Staffer Cliff Sims Over Tell-All Book, They Could Hit a 'Brick Wall'". Law & Crime. Retrieved January 29, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Karni, Annie (February 11, 2019). "Cliff Sims, White House Tell-All Author, Sues Trump for Going After Him Over Book" – via
  12. ^ a b Lippman, Daniel (October 2, 2020). "Cliff Sims, who wrote tell-all White House memoir, joins spy office". POLITICO.
  13. ^ "Former Trump staffer who penned tell-all book and sued the president, back working on Republican Convention". ABC News. Retrieved October 23, 2020.