Donald Trump is seeking $10 million from a former aide he accused of leaking confidential information about a public spat between two senior campaign staffers, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Trump claimed that fired campaign consultant Sam Nunberg went to the press with confidential information in violation of a nondisclosure agreement, which the real estate mogul requires nearly all staffers for his campaign and businesses to sign. According to the AP, Trump had initiated private arbitration proceedings against Nunberg in May.
The legal tussle came to light this week when Nunberg tried to block those proceedings in New York Supreme Civil Court and accused Trump of trying to silence him “in a misguided attempt to cover up media coverage of an apparent affair between senior campaign staffers,” according to a court filing obtained by the AP. The document reportedly referred to a New York Post story about a public quarrel between two staffers.
The Post’s Page Six filed an item in late May about Trump press secretary Hope Hicks and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski engaging in a screaming match on a Manhattan street corner.
Lewandowski was fired by the Trump campaign in late June, after Trump had initiated the arbitration proceedings against Nunberg.
Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten told the AP that the allegations Nunberg made about Hicks and Lewandowski were “categorically untrue.”
Lewandowski told the publication that he was “not familiar with the court case” and refused to comment on the affair allegation, while Hicks didn’t respond to AP’s multiple requests for comment.
Nunberg was dismissed by the campaign last August after journalists surfaced racist Facebook messages he had written about President Barack Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter.
Nunberg said at the time that he did not remember writing the posts, in which he referred to Sharpton’s daughter as a “nigger” and called Obama a “Socialist Marxist Islamo Fascist Nazi Appeaser.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond Wednesday afternoon to TPM’s request for comment.
Clarification: This post has been updated to reflect that Trump took legal action against Nunberg to enforce an arbitration agreement, but did not sue Nunberg.