Cliff Sims, a former White House communications staffer who wrote the recent tell-all about his tenure called "Team of Vipers", defended a lawsuit he filed against President Donald Trump as a way to defend his "First Amendment right to tell the truth".
The White House is yet to comment on the lawsuit filed on Monday.
Last year, former senior adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in her own tell-all book that the Trump campaign had offered her a $15,000-a-month job in exchange for signing an NDA that would have barred her from disclosing details of her time at the White House. Most legal experts say such agreements are not enforceable for public employees; nonetheless, dozens of White House aides have signed NDAs in exchange for working with Trump. But those agreements are widely seen as likely unenforceable.
Sims' book, "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House", released in January, is his candid account of a chaotic White House.
Appearing on CNN's "New Day", Sims said he was "backed into a corner" by the Trump campaign's effort to impose the NDA on those who serve in the White House. He does admit that he signed an NDA for the campaign.
The suit clearly sets out to highlight the president's selective use of of nondisclosure agreements.
Sims notes in the lawsuit that he doesn't remember whether he signed a nondisclosure agreement when he began working for Trump and goes on to allege that the president sought "to impose civil liability against Sims through the application of NDAs that apply to information Mr. Sims learned exclusively during his federal service".
The suit argues that, "it is really the intense powers of the Presidency coming down" to silence Sims and wants a court injunction to block any nondisclosure agreements "that seek to unconstitutionally infringe upon (Sims') First Amendment rights". "I'm willing to put my name to this stuff. I'm probably the least litigious person you can imagine", Sims said Tuesday to CNN's John Berman on "New Day".
In a statement to The Times, Sims' publishing house, St. Martin's Press, expressed its support for the author.