Former White House staffer Cliff Sims said he witnessed Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway leaking information and bad mouthing the administration to the press.
Sims, who worked for Trump’s campaign and later served for 18 months as a special assistant to the president, made the revelation in his new upcoming book “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House.”
In an excerpt published in Vanity Fair, Sims writes that Trump waged a war on leakers at the White House, at one point offering to bribe a New York Times reporter with a scoop if the reporter told him who leaked the information. But the top leaker turned out to be one of his closest advisers, though he doesn't appear to know it yet.
One day, Sims says he had to use Conway’s computer while they were working on messaging. Conway continued to text on her iPhone and Sims said he could see all of her messages relayed on her MacBook.
“Since her iMessage account was tied to both her phone and her laptop, which she must not have even considered, I could inadvertently see every conversation she was having,” he wrote.
“Over the course of 20 minutes or so, she was having simultaneous conversations with no fewer than a half-dozen reporters, most of them from outlets the White House frequently trashed for publishing ‘fake news,’” he wrote. “Journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, and Bloomberg were all popping up on the screen. And these weren’t policy conversations, or attempts to fend off attacks on the president. As I sat there trying to type, she bashed Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer, all by name.”
“She also recounted private conversations she’d had with the president, during which, at least in her telling, she’d convinced him to see things her way, which she said was a challenge when you’re dealing with someone so unpredictable and unrestrained,” he added. “She was talking about him like a child she had to set straight. I was sitting there, watching this, totally bewildered. I was supposed to be writing a statement, defending her against accusations that she had done almost exactly what I was watching her do that very moment.”
Sims says Conway was a ‘cartoon villain brought to life’:
Sims did not have many positive things to say about his former colleague, describing her as a real-life “cartoon villain.”
“Her agenda—which was her survival over all others, including the president—became more and more transparent,” he wrote. “Once you figured that out, everything about her seemed so calculated; every statement, even a seemingly innocuous one.”
“She seemed to be perennially cloaked in an invisible fur coat, casting an all-knowing smile, as if she’d collected 98 Dalmatians with only 3 more to go.”
Conway denied the allegations in a statement to Vanity Fair.
“The real leakers, past and present, get much more positive press than I do. While it’s rare, I prefer to knife people from the front, so they see it coming,” Conway said in a statement.
This is far from the first time the allegation has been made against her. Author Ronald Kessler told CNN last year that Conway is the “Number 1 leaker” in the administration.
Kessler told CNN that in an on-the-record interview she “said the most mean, cutting and obviously untrue things about Reince” and “also lit into Jared and Ivanka, saying that they leak against Steve Bannon.”
Conway denied being a leaker.
“I have a great working relationship and a great relationship with Jared and Ivanka, had dinner with them recently at their house,” she told Fox News.