Ex-White House aide sues Trump over non-disclosure agreements

Lamar Ellis
February 14, 2019

The former White House communications aide filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump on Monday, alleging the commander-in-chief is trying to infringe on his free speech rights by issuing a legal threat over his tell-all book about the administration. According to the New York Times, the president's campaign organization filed an arbitration claim against the author last week.

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, however, claims Trump's campaign is trying to silence Sims by trying to apply an NDA to "information Mr. Sims learned exclusively during his federal service", according to The New York Times.

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.

For that reason, Sims is suing Trump in his capacity as president, not the campaign itself.

Trump has dismissed Sims as a "low level staffer".

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Cliff Sims during Monday's January 28, 2019 show. "He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer".

When Sims' book dropped last month, Trump attempted to discredit it by claiming that he "hardly knew" the former White House aide.

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. "He signed a non-disclosure agreement".

Sims accuses Trump of selectively enforcing the nondisclosure agreements, highlighting that he did not target other former campaign and administration staffers who wrote books about their time in Trump's orbit - including former press secretary Sean Spicer and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Sims's lawsuit notes it does not seek to stop those proceedings, which it states will be handled separately.

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