Trump pushed White House staff to sign non-disclosure agreements

When Steve Bannon was sacked earlier this year, a full year into Trump's presidency, it was widely reported he had signed a written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement.

Giving himself a little bit of wiggle room, Gidley made a comment that suggested it was the dollar amount that the Post quoted that made the story, in the White House's eyes, factually inaccurate.

The agreements are applicable to staffers while they're working in the White House and "at all times thereafter", meaning they continue to apply even after Trump's presidency, according to a draft agreement examined by Post deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus.

"When people are chosen by a man to go into government at high levels and then they leave government and they write a book about a man and say a lot of things that were really guarded and personal, I don't like that", Trump told the Post in 2016.

Sources familiar with the final document do not remember a similarly large penalty, she said. "The president's point was that they [staff] would think twice about that if they were on the hook for some serious damages".

The Associated Press reported in June 2016 that "Trump requires almost everyone to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements prohibiting them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information about the real estate mogul, his family or his companies". I mean, I'll be honest.

"White House lawyers who knowingly participated in a scheme to illegally coerce unrepresented non lawyer employees & deprive them of First Amendment and other rights could be subject to bar discipline for violating ethics rules-and maybe even lose their licenses", Eisen tweeted. And people would say, oh, that's awful, you're taking away his right to free speech.

Trump, as Marcus pointed out, issued a general call for federal employees to sign NDA's.

"This is insane", said attorney Debra Katz, who has represented numerous government whistleblowers and negotiated nondisclosure agreements.

A prominent Washington DC lawyer who specializes in national security and free speech-often of current or former federal employees-has offered his firm's services on a pro-bono basis for any White House staffer who signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) at President Donald Trump's urging.

The first couple's PDAs come as Trump is embroiled in a public battle with adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual relationship with the billionaire that began shortly after the birth of their son, Barron.

The draft made its way to me after I wrote a column observing that Trump's silence-buying and silence-compelling days were done.

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