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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

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.

3 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

3 hours ago - Health

U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.