Cliff Sims, who sued President Donald Trump after the Trump campaign accused him of violating a non-disclosure agreement when writing a tell-all book, has returned to the Trump administration as a senior adviser to the director of national intelligence, according to an administration official.
Sims, who wrote the New York Times bestseller “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House,” will focus mostly on communications at ODNI and started on Wednesday, according to the official. He most recently led the messaging and speechwriting for the Republican National Convention and also was the CEO of an agency in Birmingham, Alabama that does marketing and advertising for corporations.
Sims ran communications for ODNI Director John Ratcliffe’s recent confirmation. When he was a special assistant to the president and director of White House message strategy in his first go-around in the Trump administration, he worked on building talking points and messaging, including on national security issues.
Sims declined to comment. An ODNI spokesperson confirmed that Sims had joined the organization.
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.
“A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction,” Trump tweeted in January 2019. “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!”
In his lawsuit against Trump, Sims argued that the federal government was seeking to penalize his “First Amendment right to disclose unclassified information regarding which he learned during his tenure as a federal employee.” The lawsuit was eventually dropped.
After a brief legal dispute, Sims and Trump reconciled because Trump eventually realized that the book was ultimately flattering toward him while offering a stinging critique of some of his senior staff, according to the official.
Since leaving the White House in mid-2018, Sims also remained a close ally of the Trump family, especially son-in-law Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr., as well as counselor Hope Hicks.
Sims’ attorney for the lawsuit was Mark Zaid, who has represented a number of federal government whistleblowers alleging misconduct by the Trump administration.