By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
On Friday, Inside Alabama Politics ran a story about Cliff Sims, the YellowHammer founder-turned-Trump White House adviser.
The story quoted sources saying Cliff was fired from his White House job, and did not resign to take a job at the State Department, as was reported last month.
I hate getting scooped on stuff like this, so I checked into it myself. I found out a few things…
1. Sims wasn’t fired. When I asked around to my own sources in and around the White House, I was shown documentation from the White House Office of Personnel Management that dispels that notion. Then, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told me it wasn’t true. Here is her quote on the record:
“Cliff Sims was a valuable member of President Trump’s team on the campaign and for 15 months in the White House. I worked with him on both and he is talented, smart, and worked hard for the President. We hated to see him resign from the White House, but know he will continue to be a loyal supporter for the President and impactful for him in the future.”
2. Sims has made some powerful enemies during his time in Washington, one among them being White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. I’m told Kelly has bristled at Sims and others from the campaign having close relationships with the Trump family and the president himself. The Alabama football incident reported by Politico kind of illustrates this point (though Cliff told me at the time that he actually did follow protocol). But, just reading some of the quotes in the IAP article make it clear some in that world are really out to get him.
3. Sims has also kept some powerful friends. Last week he was “spotted” with Donald Trump, Jr., Andrew Giuliani and U.S. Ambassadors Richard Grenell (Germany), Ed McMullen (Switzerland), and Duke Buchan (Spain).
When I talked to Cliff, he told me he couldn’t talk on the record about what’s next. He has not started at State and seems to be in a holding pattern. That’s a setback for Sims for sure, but it’s a lot different than getting fired and blackballed from the Administration.