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Cliff Sims’ ‘Team of Vipers’ book set for release January 29

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

Cliff Sims has written a book.

The YellowHammer founder-turned Trump aide is the latest former White House official to tell his story from inside the stormy West Wing.

Politico first reported the rumor on Friday, and today we have a first look at the book’s cover.

Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House” is due on bookshelves January 29. The title is a play on the famous Doris Kearns Goodwin book, “Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln,” which chronicled Lincoln’s rise to power and unique style in the White House.

One of Sims’ duties as Director of White House Message Strategy was to sit in on meetings and take meticulous notes so that the communications team could be prepared respond to rumors, leaks or accusations. Those notes, coupled with his special access to Trump and other key leaders, resulted in a unique narrative that fetched a seven-figure guarantee from publishers.

“After standing at Donald Trump’s side on Election Night, Cliff Sims joined him in the West Wing as Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Message Strategy,” a publisher’s note on reads.

“He soon found himself pulled into the President’s inner circle as a confidante, an errand boy, an advisor, a punching bag, and a friend. Sometimes all in the same conversation. As a result, Sims gained unprecedented access to the President, sitting in on private meetings with key Congressional officials, world leaders, and top White House advisors. He saw how Trump handled the challenges of the office, and he learned from Trump himself how he saw the world.

“He even helped Trump craft his enemies list, knowing who was loyal and who was not. And he took notes. Hundreds of pages of notes. In real-time.”

Axios’ Mike Allen reported on the book after speaking with the publishers. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman is also reporting on the book Monday morning. 

“As the title indicates, the book does not paint a rosy picture of the atmosphere in the White House. An author’s note describes a venomous den in which people are constantly at each other’s throats. But Mr. Sims’s goal, according to people familiar with the book, was not to damage Mr. Trump. And he is said to have at times painted an unflattering portrait of himself,” Haberman writes.

“Mr. Sims, whom Mr. Trump often saw as a buddy, was pulled into meetings that were well beyond the scope of his duties… He kept hundreds of pages of notes during his time at the White House, the people familiar with the project said. He was among the Trump loyalists who left this year after clashing with the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly.”

Sims announced Monday that he plans a Birmingham promotional event on Feb. 9.

“I’m excited to make public what I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on the last few months. On January 29, a memoir of my time on the Trump campaign and in the White House will be published by St. Martin’s Press,” he wrote in an email to friends.
“We are making plans for an event in Birmingham on Saturday evening, Feb. 9, so please save that date and additional details will be forthcoming.”

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