Review: Team of Vipers – My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House by Cliff Sims

5 Star, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)
Amazon Page

5 Stars – Authentic – Honors the President While Exposing All Who Would Betray the President

President Donald Trump has a right to be angry about this book because it violates a non-disclosure agreement signed by the author. However, I am quite certain the President has not actually read the book or he would realize that the author treats him with honor and respect while revealing a great deal the President may not actually know, about how everyone in the White House, including his executive secretary provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC), is stabbing him in the back.

Terms used to describe the President include self-assured, alpha dog, extraordinary talents, larger-than-life persona, marketing genius, calm in the face of extreme pressure, pure gut instinct, wants to capture people’s imagination; show biz mastery of timing, lighting, angles, words, seconds; committed to change, single-mindedly disciplined; blunt, hard-charging, transactional pragmatist; thrives in chaos and uncertainty; open and direct (no filter); not religious but has done more than any other to advance evangelical policy agenda; visual learner but keep it simple; unsentimental except with respect to military and especially military deaths; transparent – what he said publicly closely mirrored what he said in private;

Core point: Trump is a master at distilling an argument down to a bite-sized nugget packed with symbolism and comprehensible to the average citizen.”

Core point: Trump is a master of deciding his own message for the day, and then testing his communications people by seeing how many times they can get that message spoken, by specific media personalities, that very day.

QUOTE (41): “Trump is history’s greatest troll.”

QUOTE (71): “This job is a lot harder than I thought it’d be.” Donald Trump in second week as President

Core point: The President has a legendary short attention span.  Be interesting and relevant or be gone.

Trump in his own words (131): A “killer” is characterized by extreme competence, is totally relentless, and must love the fight – even when getting the hell knocked out of them, still love the fight.

Jack Welch on Donald Trump (132): “They can say what they want about him, but I don’t know if any president has been more prepared to sit in that room and talk business. It was like talking to a peer, not a politician. Hell of a meeting.”

Early on in the book he cites a conversation with a pollster who told him that Trump did not actually want to win the presidency, but rather viewed the race as a once-in-a-lifetime promotional opportunity for his brand. This tracks with what I have read elsewhere, which is why I entitled one of my most popular pieces in the Trump Revolution Series, The Accidental President.

On pages 44-45 the author summarizes why Trump won, and I found this concise four point listing useful:

  • Public understands the system is rigged against them.
  • Trump captured the wave by being the first “authentic” candidate.
  • Trust in media was collapsing at the same time that Trump was rising.
  • Voters agreed with Trump on most issues and that overrode everything else.

While the White House seeks to diminish the author by calling him a “go-fer” and no one of consequence, and the author’s own credentials are relatively limited, there is absolutely no question in my own mind but that the author did what he says he did, heard what he says he heard, and is offering the reader – and the President – a clear-headed understanding of just how screwed up the White House is for lack of a professional cadre that is loyal to the President rather than to everyone else – the RNC, the Bush crime family, themselves, external agencies, the Zionists, in about that order.

The author also provides critical insights into the good and the bad of the RNC – after the “locker room” tape the RNC broke completely with the Trump campaign and give him up for dead. Later, when he won against all odds, they snuck their people into most of the key positions in the White House, including the president’s personal secretary, who demonstrated on more than one occasion that she was more loyal to the RNC than to the President. The Trump loyalists knew they could never trust the RNC going forward — now the author also knows the Bushies are Satanic back-stabbing assholes.

Buried within the book and well worth the read are numerous “in the ring” insights into what the Trump campaign did right, including social media messaging, signs visible to the TV camera, bringing the Clinton bimbos into the ring at the right time, Trump’s deliberate – let me say that again – deliberate use of hyperbole.

QUOTE (116): “In fact it was clear that most of the ‘leaders’ of Congress weren’t really leaders at all. To them, courage was a risk. Which is why Trump dominated them all so easily.”

This book should be read with Chris Christie’s Let Me Finish, because the ugliness in this book the chaos in this book, can be traced directly to the selfish unprofessional misbehavior of Jared Kushner, who single-handedly has destroyed his father-in-law’s first two years. Understanding what Christie did for Donald Trump with the transition team, and understanding how Jared Kushner destroyed all that for selfish, immature, unprofessional reasons, makes everything in this book both more credible, and more significant.  For all of the President’s successes against all enemies, domestic as well as foreign, he could have done three times more if he were not saddled with Jared Kushner as a son-in-law given free reign within the White House.

Here are some specifics in the book:

  • Bannon, Steve. Psycho. Underhanded. Undisciplined. Too ADD to manage anything.
  • Bossie, David. Professional who achieved CITIZENS UNITED (which I consider appalling).
  • Christie, Chris. Bombastic [I doubt this very much]
  • Chung, Stephen. Campaign loyalist marginalized by Priebus and Spicer.
  • Cohn, Gary. Leader of the “globalists” in the US Government (not America First)
  • Conway, Kellyanne. Leaker-in-chief, cartoon villain brought to life, only three Dalmatians to go
  • Door, Kaelan. Campaign loyalist marginalized by Priebus and Spicer.
  • Dubke, Mike. He has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. As told to the President (144).
  • Gingrich, Newt. Genuinely brilliant, borderline crazy, always interesting.
  • Grisham, Stephanie. Campaign loyalist marginalized by Priebus and Spicer.
  • Haberman, Maggie. NYT reporter – the one person to monitor to catch all the leakers.
  • Hagin, Joe. Bushie, RNC loyalist. Personally destroyed Cliff Sims the author of this book.
  • Hicks, Hope. Young, beautiful, kind, totally loyal to the President.
  • Kelly, John. A liar, plain and simple, when it mattered. Deep contempt for Ivanka Trump.
  • Kushner, Jared. Virtual “shadow president.” Used Scaramucci as a “Reince-seeking missile.”
  • Lewankowski, Cory. Notorious for spreading disinformation about Trump World rivals.
  • Manigault, Omarosa. World-class bitch despised by black people she was supposed to cultivate.
  • McConnell, Mitch. A killer – the President’s favorite term for those he respects
  • Miller, Stephen. Provided by Sessions. Key man, prodigious writer, insecure.
  • Parscale, Brad. Credited with reaching two million small dollar donors via social media [never mind that he cannot reach the other 198 million].
  • Pence, Michael. Automaton always wearing a “Zen-like expression of total support” for Trump.
  • Priebus, Rence. Unable to take charge, too close to Paul Ryan, marginalized the campaign staffers.
  • Ross, Tyler. Hard working, last person in the room who might leak.
  • Sanders, Sarah. Quiet. Not a natural liar, a good person in an impossible job.
  • Scaramucci, Anthony. Oozed earnestness, revolutionary plan for White House broadcasts.
  • Schlapp, Mercedes. Bushie. Kelly’s way to undermine and get rid of Hope Hicks.
  • Shah, Rah. RNC loan to the campaign, abandoned campaign, sent by RNC to White House
  • Shiller, Keith. Totally loyal to the President – sidelined by resentful chiefs of staff.
  • Short, Michael. RNC loan to the campaign, abandoned campaign, sent by RNC to White House
  • Spicer, Sean. Prankster, terrible manager, unprofessional, shattered credibility, petty
  • Surabian, Andy. Campaign loyalist marginalized by Priebus and Spicer.
  • Trump, Donald. The only chief – runs a hub and spoke White House – he is the hub.
  • Trump, Ivanka. Unfailingly polite, one of the most effective surrogates for the President.
  • Trump, Melania. Her husband’s fiercest protector, savvy consumer of news, tracking leakers
  • Walters, Lindsey. RNC staff loyalist.
  • Westerhout, Madeline. As president’s secretary, a spy for the RNC
  • White, Paula. A “prosperity gospel” money-maker – give me your money and you will be wealthy

Sadly, what this book tells me is that the White House is not a safe work environment.  It is filled with toxic back-stabbing assholes all of whom are thinking of themselves instead of the President and the Republic.

QUOTE (134): “we far too often focused on devouring one another. Cuthroat doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

QUOTE (314): “In fact, there was a pervasive view among some of the President’s most senior aides that there was something patriotic about undermining Trump’s most disruptive impulses.”

I also conclude that the White House is dysfunctional because no Chief of Staff to date has been effective at letting Trump be Trump and ensuring that his commands are followed nor has any Chief of Staff been able to create a professional team that plays well with one another (Mike Mulvany will fail UNLESS Jared and Ivanka Kushner leave the White House and he can reassign all the RNC people).

QUOTE (262): “As everyone working for Donald Trump knew, there were generally two kinds of presidential requests—ones you acted on and ones you ignored unless he brought it up again.”

QUOTE (279): “The Trump White House staff was famously factionalized—RNC vs. campaign loyalists, establishment vs. MAGA, globalists vs. nationalists, free traders vs. protectionists.”

I was tempted to drop the book to four stars because of the author’s ignorance and naiveté in some areas – he really knows nothing about false flag events and buys in to the false narratives about Syrian gas, Charleston, and Parkland – but that would be unfair given the public service rendered to all of us – and the President if he will bother to read the book (or this summary review).

The author’s bottom line on our President Donald Trump:

QUOTE (247): “I marveled at Trump’s willingness to endure a seemingly limitless amount of criticism and never waiver. He was fearless—the rarest of traits among politicians. If he believed he was doing the right thing, he was willing to weather any storm. And yet Trump always remained a walking contradiction. He was the bravest person I’d ever seen in the face of public scrutiny, but resented relatively mild critiques from his aides. He was arguably the toughest political combatant in modern American history, but often shied away from making much-needed staff changes that would cause conflict in private. He was an idealist—a true believer in his populist, nationalist worldview—but pragmatically cut deals with anyone willing to make an interesting offer. He was less afraid to do the right thing—the difficult thing—than anyone I’d ever met but sometimes seemed to lack the guiding principles that could lead him what exactly the ‘right thing’ was.”

The book is worth reading for insights into the President’s feelings and facts in relation to a number of events including Jefferson Sessions recusing himself and the firing of James Comey. I have not highlighted these because my focus is on the dysfunctionality of the White House that is handicapping our President from being the greatest president ever. I continue to believe he needs to throw the press out of the White House and repurpose that space – the most precious real estate on the planet – into a Trump Studio, Grand Strategy think tank, and an Open Source Agency to provide the 96% of the decision-support that the secret intelligence community refuses to be serious about.  My thoughts are on record in the four-page memorandum, TrumpTriumph.

DOC (4 Pages):  Review Team of Vipers

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