Under the guise of “ethics training,” interns in President Trump’s White House are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements during orientation, with the White House counsel’s office issuing warnings about the legal ramifications interns can face if they break the agreement, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
It’s not an unfamiliar practice in the Trump White House, or for people who have worked for President Trump personally or his reality show or his campaign, including volunteers. The Washington Post reported last year that Trump tried to force his senior White House staff to sign non-disclosure agreements, which come stuffed with dubious legal consequences for ever violating the terms of the agreements.
It is unclear whether the intern NDAs — or others he’s required throughout his career — are legally enforceable. The Daily Beast does not note who the enforcing party is, other than disclosing that the intern agreements are raised during orientation and involve lectures from the White House counsel’s office.
Some former White House officials like former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman were sent threatening letters by Trump’s attorney Charles Harder for violating their NDAs when they spoke publicly about White House palace intrigue. But the threats never transpired into legal action, as the Daily Beast noted.
A former White House official and a former Trump campaign employee have both filed lawsuits for what they believe are unlawful agreements.