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Former White House Aide Reveals How Trump Leaks to Press: ‘A Source Close to the President…’

Team of Vipers, a new book written by former White House aide Cliff Sims, has rocked the beltway by shining a light on the inner workings of President Donald Trump‘s West Wing. Among the juicy revelations in a new excerpt published Wednesday evening: The president, for all of his contempt towards White House leakers, is actually one of the culprits.

In a passage of the book posted by Vanity Fair, Sims exposed how the president leaks to journalists. He recalled an instance in which Trump spoke by phone with a “prominent White House reporter,” and made an offer in exchange for information on their source.

From the excerpt:

“Who gave you this story?” Trump asked playfully. “I’d just be curious to know who told you this.”

The reporter laughed somewhat nervously, saying they obviously could not reveal their sources. Leaning over the phone in the Oval Office, arms crossed in front of him with his elbows sitting on the Resolute Desk, Trump tried to cut a deal. “Well, I guess that’s fine,” he replied. “But, of course, you know I could give you so much better stories—so much better.” After a little more unsuccessful coaxing, Trump relented. The reporter hung up without a hot scoop from “a source close to the president.”

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo