For a presidency that has only just passed the two-year mark, the Trump administration has generated an extraordinary number of tell-all insider books, a phenomenon that in the past usually only happened after at least an entire full-term.
In addition to the tales of dysfunction included in books by journalists such as Michael Wolfe’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in The White House, the numerous former officials who have left the administration at an unprecedented rate have presented a picture of tumult and incompetence in the Oval Office that has inspired an enormous amount of schadenfreude in readers of books by people like Omarosa Manigault-Newman.
The latest former Trump insider to air the president’s dirty laundry in exchange for a lucrative book contract is Cliff Sims, a former Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Message Strategy.
His new book, Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House, gives anyone who anyone who needed more anecdotes to prove the similarity of the Trump administration to a dumpster fire all the fodder they need.
The most interesting new detail to emerge from Sim’s book portrays President Trump as so disengaged from the actual business of running the government that he walks away from meetings in the middle of them to watch TV when he gets bored with people trying to explain the details of policy proposals to him.
According to an advance review of Sim’s book in The Washington Post:
“Sims recounts one time when Ryan was in the Oval Office explaining the ins and outs of the Republican health-care bill to the president. As Ryan droned on for 15 minutes, Trump sipped on a glass of Diet Coke, peered out at the Rose Garden, stared aimlessly at the walls and, finally, walked out.”
“Ryan kept talking as the president wandered down the hall to his private dining room, where he flicked on his giant flat-screen TV. Apparently, he had had enough of Ryan’s talk. It fell to Vice President Pence to retrieve Trump and convince him to return to the Oval Office so they could continue their strategy session.”
Luckily for all of us, Trump will never have to listen again to Paul Ryan drone on about Ayn Rand-inspired schemes to take health care away from everyday Americans, but Trump’s apparent attention-deficit disorder should renew the strike of terror in the minds of everyone who has already been worrying about the stability of the man with access to the nuclear codes.
For those of you curious about the president’s personal hair care routine for his elaborate do, The Post’s review of Sim’s tome includes details of how Trump keeps his coif so, um, well architected.
As White House director of message strategy, Sims regularly met Trump at the private elevator of the residence and accompanied him to video tapings — carrying a can of Tresemmé Tres Two hair spray, extra hold, for the boss.
Team of Vipers will be officially on sale as of January 29th, although it is already available for pre-order online. If you need more confirmation of the insanity currently taking place at the highest levels of our government or merely like watching train wrecks, Cliff Sim’s book should be right up your alley.
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Original reporting by Philip Rucker at The Washington Post.