Trump's White House is forcing interns to sign nondisclosure agreements as part of 'ethics training': report
On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that White House interns are being forced to sign nondisclosure agreements and being threatened with ruinous lawsuits if they don't comply:
Upon orientation, the interns signed their very own non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), with the envoy of the counsel's office warning them that a breach of the NDA—blabbing to the media, for instance—could result in legal, and thus financial, consequences for them. Interns were also told that they would not receive their own copies, these sources said.
This was all a standard facet of the Trump intern orientation process, billed as an "ethics training"—underscored by implicit legal threats from President Donald Trump's in-house lawyers.
These NDAs, which were also standard fare in the Trump campaign and his previous business and entertainment ventures, are ridiculously broad compared to previous administrations, and bar most staffers from leaking any details of the White House's inner workings to the press — yet another weapon in the administration's crusade against anyone perceived as disloyal. It is part of the reason why much of the inside info on the White House comes from anonymous sources — if their identities were exposed, Trump's attorneys would take them to court.
But the NDAs may well be unenforceable. Jessica Denson, a former Trump campaign Hispanic outreach coordinator, has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Trump's NDAs unlawfully prevent employees from bringing claims of workplace discrimination.
The president's use of NDAs to prevent embarrassing information from getting out became prominent news at the beginning of last year, when it was revealed that Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen facilitated a $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, to hide an affair ahead of the 2016 election. That agreement was eventually voided as Cohen admitted it was unenforceable.