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St. Martin's Press

A book proposal by a White House aide, shared with just a few publishers, had the author’s name and identifying details stripped out. But the tale was so fascinating that it immediately attracted a seven-figure offer.

The unnamed aide was Cliff Sims, 33, former special assistant to the president and director of White House message strategy, who had unusual access to Donald Trump during the campaign and as president. Sims has a cinematic eye for detail and a card shark's memory — and had kept notes so detailed that he completed the 140,000-word manuscript in just two months after he left the White House in May.

  • The book is "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days In the Trump White House," to be published Jan. 29 by the Thomas Dunne Books imprint of St. Martin’s Press.
  • Sims was represented by Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn at Javelin.

From a forthcoming news release: "After standing at Donald Trump’s side on Election Night, Cliff Sims joined him in the West Wing [and] soon found himself pulled into the President’s inner circle as a confidante, an errand boy, an advisor, a punching bag, and a friend. Sometimes all in the same conversation."

  • "Sims ... witnessed first-hand the infighting and leaking, the anger, joy, and recriminations. ... He gained key, often surprising, and occasionally humorous insights into the players of the Trump West Wing, from Jared Kushner and John Kelly to Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway."
  • "He even helped Trump craft his enemies list, knowing who was loyal and who was not. And he took notes. Hundreds of pages of notes. In real-time."

Go deeper

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.