White House staffer Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that “absolutely” White House staffers sign non-disclosure agreements.
“It is typical, and you know it, to sign an NDA in any place of work,” Conway told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, adding: “We’ve all signed them in the West Wing.”
“We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do,” she said later.
“You’re a public employee,” Karl protested.
“Well, hold on, but confidentiality is implied,” Conway said.
President Donald Trump’s insistence on a White House NDA — one which purportedly extended beyond Trump’s tenure as president — was first reported by the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus in March.
Marcus noted at the time that “Some balked at first but, pressed by then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the White House Counsel’s Office, ultimately complied, concluding that the agreements would likely not be enforceable in any event.”
The ACLU has asserted that White House NDAs are not only unenforceable, but also unconstitutional.
Asked in January if White House staff were asked to sign NDAs, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “There’s an ethics agreement. Beyond that, I can’t get into any additional details.”
The NDA discussion came up in the context of a claim made by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, who says in a new book that the Trump campaign offered her a $15,000 monthly salary, on the condition that she sign a restrictive NDA.
Manigault Newman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the campaign told her she didn’t have to work to receive the salary. Host Chuck Todd read an excerpt of the campaign’s proposed NDA on air (at 18:25 here).
“The campaign, the RNC and America First,” Manigault Newman said, listing organizations that have employed “several” former White House staffers. (America First Action is a super PAC that employs former Trump administration officials.)
“Which is why Sean Spicer was describing Donald Trump as a unicorn jumping over rainbows, because he signed this same agreement,” she claimed.