Some of the people you see talking on TV or who are quoted in articles about President Trump are legally obligated to say nice things about him.
Trump acknowledged last month that Manigault Newman — author of “Unhinged,” a tell-all book about her time in the White House — had signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) when she went to work for his 2016 campaign. He suggested she had violated the agreement, which obligates signers not to disparage Trump or members of his family.
Which raises a question: Are others who have signed an NDA with Trump really being honest in those media interviews, or are they just lauding the president because they legally can’t do otherwise?
.. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hasn’t specified who or how many people have signed, but she has characterized the agreements as “common” and “very normal” for this White House.
.. “I don’t see any acceptable situation where someone has an NDA and doesn’t disclose that in an interview,” he said. “This is material information that goes to the credibility of an interview. The audience has a right to know if the person they’re hearing from has agreed to limit or censor themselves in some way.”
.. Kahn compared undisclosed NDAs to other kinds of would-be conflicts of interest, such as a source with an undisclosed personal relationship or a hidden financial stake in a company he or she was touting to the news media. “It’s completely inappropriate,” he said.
No matter how much the president loves them, the government can only enforce nondisclosure agreements for classified information.Part of the outrage on the president’s part seems to be over Manigault Newman breaking what Trump saw as a promise not to talk about her time working for him. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC News: “We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing — absolutely we do.” And Manigault Newman claims in her book that Trump’s reelection campaign offered her a $15,000-a-month salary in exchange for signing a confidentiality agreement... I have reviewed one document that is purportedly a version of the White House NDA. It appeared to be nothing more than a Trump Organization document that was modified to apply to White House staff — in fact, it still had a provision that in any litigated dispute, the parties agreed that New York state law would apply, language that no standard federal document would ever have used... It was also publicly reported that one early draft of a White House NDA contained a provision that imposed a $10 million fine to be paid to the federal government if the signatory shared confidential information... While the term “confidential” in D.C. parlance is part of the national security classification framework, in these NDAs, it referred to potentially derogatory and unclassified information pertaining to the president... These NDAs also ignored earlier guidance from the Office of Management and Budget that any NDAs should contain whistleblower protection provisions, clauses that would be contrary to the clear message desired by this administration... his campaign entity, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., rather than the U.S. government, has reportedly filed for arbitration against Manigault Newman seeking millions for a violation of a 2016 NDA... The NDA allegedly required her to keep proprietary information about the president, his companies or his family confidential and to never “disparage” the Trump family “during the term of your service and at all times thereafter.” This clause is in direct conflict with the legal precedents governing federal employees, but how an arbitration body will interpret constitutional questions is anyone’s guess... In an April 2016 interview with The Washington Post, the future president said he supported making federal employees sign NDAs.“I think they should,” Trump said. “. . . 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.”
.. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said the “very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.”
A former Fox News anchor has filed a lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, claiming that the former star Fox host defamed her when he defended himself against sexual harassment accusations.
.. Laurie Dhue, who worked for the cable news network from 2000 to 2008, was one of five women whom the New York Times reported to have received settlements related to O’Reilly’s actions and behavior
.. Dhue points to a series of public statements O’Reilly made after the Times article ran, saying the accusations were false and made maliciously.
.. O’Reilly stated in April 2017 that he parted ways with Fox due to “unfounded claims.” In June, he blamed the allegations against him on “far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree.” In October, he said that he “didn’t do anything wrong.” He also said that he had never had any complaints filed against him in more than 40 years of work.
.. “Mr. O’Reilly has never mentioned Dhue, and any attention she has received has been the result of her own actions.
.. “The irony of all this post-settlement litigation is that O’Reilly — as well is his former (and late) boss Roger Ailes — expertly used non-disclosure/non-disparagement clauses plus stacks of money to enable and excuse his workplace behavior,” The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote of that lawsuit. “Yet O’Reilly lacks the sophistication — which is to say, he won’t shut up — necessary to keep the whole putrid operation glued together.”
In a letter to author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt and Co., Charles Harder said the book contained “numerous false and/or baseless statements,” though it didn’t specify any. He threatened legal action for defamation, invasion of privacy, and other claims.
.. In recent years, Mr. Trump’s lawyers have often threatened legal action and not followed through. In 2016, he threatened to sue the New York Times for publishing articles about his tax returns and about accusations of sexual assault against him. He also threatened to sue the women accusing him of sexual assault, whose allegations he has denied.