Ex-White House aide who wrote critical book sues Trump

Screenshot  CNN

Screenshot CNN

Cliff Sims, the former White House aide whose tell-all book "Team of Vipers" earned the President's ire and an arbitration claim from his campaign, has sued Trump in his official capacity as president for allegedly ordering or otherwise approving of that claim, The New York Times first reported Monday.

The White House is yet to comment on the lawsuit filed on Monday.

Sims was hired by the Trump campaign in September 2016, and signed a non-disclosure agreement that bars talking about "confidential" information and making disparaging remarks about the Trump campaign, Trump, and his family. Legal analysts have said NDAs like those Trump forces his aides to sign are unenforceable.

According to The Times, the lawsuit claims that Trump is "seeking to impose civil liability against Mr. Sims through the application of NDAs that apply to information Mr. Sims learned exclusively during his federal service".

Sims' lawsuit charges the government is using a private surrogate to "serve as an illegitimate cutout" and impose liability through the nondisclosure agreement.

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About 20 minutes later, Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner tweeted the campaign was "preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims". Spicer's book was spared the enforcement of nondisclosure agreements. "I'm probably the least litigious person you can imagine", Sims said Tuesday to CNN's John Berman on "New Day".

Trump has dismissed Sims as a "low level staffer". "He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer".

The suit argues that, "it is really the intense powers of the Presidency coming down" to silence Sims and wants a court injunction to block any nondisclosure agreements "that seek to unconstitutionally infringe upon (Sims') First Amendment rights". "He signed a non-disclosure agreement".

"Recent attempts to selectively prevent former government employees from speaking and writing about their experience as public servants call for our scrutiny, and illustrate how essential the First Amendment is to the preservation of democracy", the publisher wrote.

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