Cliff Sims returns to Trump administration for role with intelligence chief

Cliff Sims returns to Trump administration for role with intelligence chief
Cliff Sims. (Source: Alabama Daily News)

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

Alabama native Cliff Sims has rejoined the Trump administration as senior advisor to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, Politico reported Friday.

Sims previously worked on the Trump campaign in 2016 then in the White House press shop as director of message strategy, before leaving in 2018 and writing a tell-all book, Team Of Vipers.

Sims declined to comment to Alabama Daily News due to the sensitive nature of his new role at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Sources familiar with the appointment told ADN Sims will oversee communications for Ratcliffe and serve as a liaison between ODNI and the White House.

Sims' relationship with Ratcliffe goes back to early this year when he ran communications for Ratcliffe’s senate confirmation process. The former Texas congressman faced an especially challenging confirmation and even withdrew his nomination in 2019 before agreeing to be renominated by Trump in February.

The Director of National Intelligence is a Cabinet-level post created in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 that oversees the 17 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Administration and the various military intelligence organizations. One primary function of the office is to prepare the Presidential Daily Brief, which informs the president of various threats and national security issues.

Sims, a native of Enterprise, got his start in politics in 2010 running the campaign of former State Rep. Barry Moore, who this year won the Republican nomination for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District. Sims would later go on to found YellowHammer News, a right-leaning news site that he grew into a multimedia organization. Sims sold YellowHammer in 2017 after joining the Trump White House.

After leaving the White House in 2018, Sims joined Telegraph Creative, a Birmingham-based marketing firm that has done work for the Sloss Tech Festival, Shipt, YellaWood and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.

Sims will step away as CEO, but remains a 50% owner of the company and involved in strategic guidance, sources told ADN.

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