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Trump’s White House is gagging interns and threatening to financially destroy them

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President Donald Trump’s White House is forcing interns to sign non-disclosure agreements, the Daily Beast reported Thursday. If the new White House interns refuse, they’re threatened with financial ruin.

Zoe Jackman, the director of the internship program welcomed interns into the White House earlier this year, but a representative from the White House counsel’s office then demanded they sign the form. It was during the orientation meeting, called an “ethics training,” when the counsel’s office warned the youngsters about the consequences of leaking information to the media.

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“Interns were also told that they would not receive their own copies,” The Beast reported, citing inside sources.

The demand of NDA’s for government workers has been a legal concern since the Trump administration entered the building. Past campaign staffers were forced to sign them, but that was a private business operation. Government workers have different standards and rules, legal scholars explained.

The Washington Post obtained a draft of the non-disclosure agreement, which threatens violators with a $10 million penalty for each offense.

Yet, when asked about details by CNN’s Jake Tapper in 2018, the White House said in a statement that staffers “were never asked or required to sign NDAs with $10 million clauses. Beyond that, we do not discuss security or personnel matters.”

“All White House employees—from senior officials to interns—understand the necessity of discretion based on the fact that they hold positions of public trust, with an emphasis on public,” the Beast quoted former Obama National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price. “But this White House’s approach to non-disclosure agreements, even for interns, seems to suggest that guarding against criticism of the president and his family—what most of us would consider to be protected speech—is just as important as safeguarding the sensitive information the American public entrusts to the government.”

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“A public employee can’t be forced to sign away the right to speak,” law professor Mark Fenster of the University of Florida told Reuters.

“These NDAs strike me as clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment,” law professor Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota agreed.

Liz Hempowicz of the non-profit Project on Government Oversight (POGO) explained that there are caveats on free speech for government workers but the broad way in which the NDAs are said to be written might be too much. However, she warned against claims it’s unconstitutional.

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When former staffer Cliff Sims came out with his tell-all book the Trump campaign launched a lawsuit for violating his NDA. Sims, however, was a White House staffer, so it’s unclear why the campaign is suing him.

In past administrations, NDAs were handed out to those dealing with classified information, but NDAs like Trump’s are unheard of, the Beast said.

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Former Trump campaign staffer Jessica Denson has already launched her own class-action lawsuit against the NDAs.


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WATCH LIVE: Trump holds mask-option Mount Rushmore rally and fireworks celebration

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President Donald Trump left the White House during the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday to attend an Independence Day event in South Dakota.

Trump was told not to attend but did so anyway.

“Trump coming here is a safety concern not just for my people inside and outside the reservation, but for people in the Great Plains. We have such limited resources in Black Hills, and we’re already seeing infections rising,” the Oglala Sioux president, Julian Bear Runner, told the Guardian. “It’s going to cause an uproar if he comes here. People are going to want to exercise their first amendment rights to protest and we do not want to see anyone get hurt or the lands be destroyed."

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2020 Election

Trump Jr’s girlfriend tests positive for COVID-19 in South Dakota ahead of the president’s event: report

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Yet another senior Donald Trump advisor has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son and a top fund-raising official for the Trump re-election campaign, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday before a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore, a person familiar with her condition said," The New York Times reported shortly before Trump's speech began.

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Trump supporters shouted ‘go home’ at Native Americans protesting Mount Rushmore rally on their land: report

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Oglala Sioux protesters were arrested protesting against President Donald Trump's Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore on Friday.

The protesters argued that it is their land after the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate.

The Black Hills of South Dakota, where Mount Rushmore is located, was among the lands the tribes received to bring about an end to Red Cloud's War, which is also known as the Bozeman Trail War.

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