Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Cliff Sims, former director of White House message strategy, sat down with Mike Allen and me for "Axios on HBO" and described what it's like sitting with @realDonaldTrump while he tweets.
Sims, who left the White House in May, said he's seen Trump dictate tweets to aides from the Oval Office or from the private dining room that adjoins it. "He's meticulous with not just the words that he wants to use but the punctuation," Sims said. "So he'll say, you know, 'Jonathan Swan at Axios is an awful terrible reporter dash dash capital S capital A capital D exclamation point.'"
Behind the scenes: "I do think that he's very cognizant of the power that he has to set the media narrative," Sims said.
- "I have seen him talk about something that he wants to tweet, ultimately tweeting whatever that thing is, within literally a minute, reporters are now retweeting his tweet with their own comments on top of it."
- "He goes into the private dining room and within about 5 minutes, he can see this creation ... how it's playing out on the television."
We interviewed Sims before he announced his White House memoir "Team of Vipers," set for release in January.