Trump Campaign Says Former Aide Violated NDA With New Book
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s campaign formally accused former staffer Cliff Sims of violating a non-disclosure agreement with the publication this week of his tell-all book detailing his time in the West Wing.
In an arbitration claim filed Thursday, the campaign said Sims violated the agreement by disparaging Trump in the book and in media appearances to promote the memoir, titled “Team of Vipers.” The campaign also said that Sims violated portions of the agreement by taking and keeping notes during his time in the White House, and emailing himself confidential information.
Sims didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The campaign didn’t say if it was seeking monetary damages or some other recourse.
It’s not clear that the campaign’s non-disclosure agreements are enforceable, particularly for the period after its employees joined the federal government. Even Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who remains a confidant of the president, has said he doesn’t believe the agreements are valid.
The new book by Sims, a former communications aide, has proven to be an irritant to the president and his allies since its publication. Sims writes that top White House officials including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway regularly leaked information to reporters, that the president compiled an enemies list, and that Trump gave West Wing tours in which he pointed out where Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky allegedly had their trysts.
Conway denied the account to reporters last week. Trump denounced the book as “boring” and “fiction” in a tweet shortly after its publication this week.
Attorney Mark Zaid, who has represented national security whistle-blowers, tweeted earlier this week that the non-disclosure agreement wouldn’t be enforceable for unclassified information and offered Sims pro bono representation.
Last year, Trump’s campaign accused former aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman of violating a non-disclosure agreement after she released a book about her time in the White House. That claim was also filed with a private arbitrator.
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