Since the election of Donald Trump, the insider tell-all book business has exploded. From Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff to Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, anyone who has witnessed the inner, chaotic workings of the current White House has quite a story to tell.
Says our reviewer: For those who have followed any of the half-dozen "inside stories" of Trump World, this book by Cliff Sims –– who served 18 months in Trump's White House –– will be as familiar as re-used videotape on cable TV news.https://t.co/MdrEXlFylx
— NPR (@NPR) January 22, 2019
Cliff Sims, author of the upcoming release Team of Vipers, worked on Trump’s campaign and inside the White House since its earliest transition days. The stories he tells depict Trump as confused, prone to wandering, completely uninterested in the minutiae of running the country and working on policy, and demanding print-outs of the chyrons from cable news show throughout the day.
According to CNN and The Washington Post’s advance review, an interaction between Trump and former Republican Speaker Paul Ryan showed Trump’s obsession with loyalty. After the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville at the hands of a far-right neo-Nazi, Trump referred to the marchers who joined those neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” and Ryan publicly condemned that statement.
Trump reportedly exploded at Ryan over the phone.
‘Paul, do you know why Democrats have been kicking your a– for decades? Because they know a little word called “loyalty.” Why do you think Nancy [Pelosi] has held on this long? Have you seen her? She’s a disaster. Every time she opens her mouth another Republican gets elected. But they stick with her…Why can’t you be loyal to your president, Paul?”
In his new book, former Trump White House staffer Cliff Sims observes after his departure from the White House that the president "hadn't lifted a finger for countless loyal aides before me and …wouldn't for countless aides to come." https://t.co/agpFBe7oia
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 22, 2019
‘Sims also writes in his book that Trump was so disinterested during an Oval Office meeting with Ryan about the Republican health care bill that he walked out and turned on his TV in another room, according to the Post. Vice President Mike Pence had to convince the President to return to the Oval Office and continue the meeting, Sims wrote, according to the Post.’
Other tidbits in "Team of Vipers" – a bored Trump walking out of meeting w Ryan to watch TV in adjacent room; Sanders trying to explain to POTUS that he can't "suspend" reporters he doesn't like; Miller knifing Bannon; Sessions wanting to polygraph staff https://t.co/S1TLi8DnMy
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 22, 2019
Some of Sims’ most stinging criticism involved Trump’s communications team and other public spokespeople, who he realized after a while were saying whatever Trump told them to instead of doing any fact-checking or research.
‘In his book, Sims recounted how White House staff failed to check the facts on former press secretary Sean Spicer’s statement to the media about Trump’s presidential inauguration crowd size since it was hurried in an effort to appease Trump, the Post reported.
‘According to Sim’s account in “Team of Vipers,” Trump also created an “enemies list” made up of members of his own administration, which Axios first reported.’
Team of Vipers review: “her gymnastics with the truth would tax even the nimblest of prevaricators, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders was not that” – Cliff Simms https://t.co/EFgck8UG2J
— Martin Pengelly (@MartinPengelly) January 22, 2019
In particular, Sims criticized White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for not only lying but being a terrible liar, at that.
The Guardian notes that:
‘Sarah Sanders, Trump’s press secretary, possessed a casual attitude toward truth-telling when it came to the press, according to the book. In Sims’ words, Sanders “didn’t press as hard as she could have for the rock-bottom truth”, adding that her “gymnastics with the truth would tax even the nimblest of prevaricators, and Sanders was not that”. At least Sims believes that Sanders was not a “natural liar”.’