Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Former White House aide Cliff Sims sues Trump

Ex-Trump aide is now suing the president for abusing his office and trying to punish his speaking out: report Sims Sues Trump For Allegedly Approving Campaign's NDA Claim Against Him
Jeannette Daniel | 14 February, 2019, 13:10

Cliff Sims, a former White House communications staffer who wrote the recent tell-all about his tenure called "Team of Vipers", defended a lawsuit he filed against President Donald Trump as a way to defend his "First Amendment right to tell the truth".

The lawsuit accuses Trump of having his campaign serve as "an illegitimate cutout and step into the shoes" of the government in an attempt to silence Sims, in violation of his First Amendment rights.

POLITICO previously reported that Trump was incensed by Sims' book, with several current and former White House officials having described the president as "very pissed off" and "really hopping mad" upon reading early excerpts and leaks of its text.

Sims's book, "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House", released in January, is his candid account of a chaotic White House.

But Zaid, citing "sources", charged the arbitration was filed on Trump's orders, thereby violating Sims' First Amendment protections, since the US government - in this case, the president - is prohibited by the Constitution from silencing federal employees once they leave office, unless it pertains to classified information.

It's not clear whether a campaign nondisclosure would apply to Sims' time working as a federal employee.

More news: Five killed in shooting in eastern Texas

Trump dismissed Sims' book in a tweet, calling the author "a low level staffer that I hardly knew", and claiming the book was "made up stories and fiction".

"He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer", Trump said in the tweet.

"It's our understanding from sources that the president was consulted and instructed the campaign should proceed with the arbitration", Zaid said.

In the lawsuit, Sims says Trump is trying to silence him by enforcing a nondisclosure agreement he signed during the 2016 campaign.

Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, later wrote that they were preparing to file suit against Sims for violating the NDA. He signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Sims's lawsuit notes it does not seek to stop those proceedings, which it states will be handled separately.

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