Ex-White House aide Cliff Sims sues Trump over nondisclosure agreements

Ex-Trump aide is now suing the president for abusing his office and trying to punish his speaking out report

A former White House aide is suing U.S. President Donald Trump and arguing the government is trying to illegally penalize him after he wrote a book that portrayed an unflattering picture of life in the West Wing.

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

According to the New York Times, in his lawsuit, Sims is "alleging that [Trump] used his campaign organization as a "cutout" to improperly seek retribution against former employees and keep them from invoking their First Amendment rights".

The Times reports that the lawsuit accuses Trump of using his campaign to punish him.

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. The lawsuit pointed out that the president attempted to enforce a nondisclosure agreement with former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman after she released a tell-all book about her experiences while serving the Trump administration but didn't do so when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dropped his book.

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The chief operating officer of the Trump campaign tweeted in late January that it was "preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA".

"It's our understanding from sources that the president was consulted and instructed the campaign should proceed with the arbitration", Zaid said.

Trump dismissed Sims' book in a tweet, calling the author "a low level staffer that I hardly knew", and claiming the book was "made up stories and fiction".

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 says in the suit that he doesn't recall whether he signed a White House NDA, though, regardless, such NDAs are widely seen as unenforceable.

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