Trump aide who penned White House tell-all considering Alabama Senate run
Former Donald Trump adviser Cliff Sims is considering a run for Alabama’s open Senate seat, according to a person with direct knowledge of his thinking.
Sims, who served on the former president’s 2016 campaign and spent more than a year in the White House helping to oversee messaging, has received encouragement from some members of the Trump family and former administration officials.
The 36-year-old Sims formerly published Yellowhammer News, an influential conservative website that tracks the Alabama political scene. He has maintained connections with leaders in the state, including Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who announced Monday that he was retiring after more than three decades in the Senate.
Sims spent the final months of the Trump administration working at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where he served as deputy director under former Director John Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe indicated in a statement that he would lend his support to a Sims candidacy.
“Cliff has a servant’s heart and if he decides to run, I’m confident that no one would fight harder for the people of Alabama,” said Ratcliffe, a former Texas congressman.
Sims is one of several former Trump administration officials, donors and supporters now seen as potential statewide candidates. Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump has been mentioned as a potential contender in the North Carolina Senate race, while former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite is looking at a run for Senate in Pennsylvania, where former ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands is also a possible candidate.
Former ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard, a Montgomery native and wealthy real estate investment firm co-founder, is also considering running for the Alabama seat.
Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has already launched a campaign for Arkansas governor.
Shelby’s retirement announcement has kicked off a potential Republican free-for-all for his Senate seat. Aside from Blanchard, the list of potential candidates includes GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, state Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, and former Shelby chief of staff Katie Britt.
Sims, a native Alabamian who resides in Birmingham, is currently running an advertising agency called Telegraph Creative. Since Shelby’s announcement, Sims has received outreach from former Trump administration officials and Alabama Republicans about potentially running.
The former Trump aide departed the White House in 2018 after working in the communications office, where he served as special assistant to the president. In 2019, Sims published “Team of Vipers,” a bestselling memoir that documented his experiences in the White House and detailed staff infighting.
Trump attacked the book upon its release, describing Sims as a “low-level staffer” and “gofer” whom he “hardly knew,” even though the jacket of the 360-page memoir pictured the former president and Sims walking down the West Wing Colonnade.
But Sims would later mount a comeback. Members of the Trump family patched things up between the former president and his former aide. During the summer of 2020, Sims worked as a speechwriter for the Republican National Convention, and he rejoined the Trump administration working under Ratcliffe later last year.