US President Donald Trump has tweeted his anger at a new book by former a former White House communications aide, calling it “boring” and written by a mere “gofer”.
Cliff Sims’ book Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House portrays a White House staff under Mr Trump that was “absolutely out of control” at times and often at each other’s throats.
Mr Trump’s response however was to distance himself from Sims.
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)
However, Mr Sims worked on Mr Trump’s campaign and was then made White House Director of Message Strategy as a special assistant to the president.
Mr Sims does not spare himself from criticism, confessing to being “selfish” and “nakedly ambitious.”
“It’s impossible to deny how absolutely out of control the White House staff — again, myself included — was at times,” Mr Sims writes.
At the same time as the president cultivated chaos among his advisers, Mr Sims writes that “it’s dang near impossible to spend one-on-one time with Donald Trump and not end up liking him.”
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims)
TRUMP WANTED HIS DISNEY ANIMATRONIC TO BOAST ABOUT HIM
The book also states that Mr Trump wanted his animatronic figure at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents to tell visitors about his real estate career — and that Americans invented the skyscraper.
“Then I could add a little, ‘Which, of course, I know a thing or two about,’ right?”
Mr Trump told Disney, according to the book.
“This was a presidential duty that filled the President with unusual boyish excitement,” writes the former communications aide.
Mr Trump’s request wound up getting shot down by Disney execs, who reportedly pointed out how Americans had not actually invented the “skyscraper” — saying it’s “just a taller building.”
Mr Sims claims he scrubbed the lines from Mr Trump’s prerecorded speech and ultimately stuck to speaking about the American people and US Constitution.
TRUMP ADVISER ‘WANTED NO REFUGEES IN US’
Mr Sims says top policy adviser Stephen Miller, who has pushed Mr Trump to adopt stricter immigration policies, is quoted as saying, “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil.”
Miller did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said during a rare televised briefing, “I’m not aware of any statement like that that Stephen Miller has ever made.”
The White House has reviewed Mr Sims’ book but has tried to avoid being drawn into public discussion to avoid bringing more attention to Mr Sims’ accounts.
Mr Sims writes that, any time a refugee or immigrant committed a “gruesome” crime, Mr Miller would walk over to the White House press office to demand that press releases be issued about the cases.
Mr Sims says Mr Miller made the comment about refugees during a conversation the two were having about immigration.
Mr Miller’s quote is included in a book in which Mr Sims compares many of Trump’s aides — past and president and even including the author — to a team of “vipers.”
Mr Sims’ book is due on store shelves the same day as another behind-the-scenes account of Trump’s team, titled Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics, by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Mr Christie challenged Mr Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 but endorsed Mr Trump after dropping out.
Mr Christie then oversaw Mr Trump’s transition until he was fired shortly after the November election, allegedly at the urging of Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Mr Christie, during his tenure as a federal prosecutor, sent Mr Kushner’s father — businessman Charles Kushner — to prison after winning his conviction on tax evasion and other crimes.
Sims began rolling out his book Monday with a media blitz that included an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America and a sit-down with late-night TV host Stephen Colbert of CBS.
Christie was due to visit with Colbert on Tuesday.