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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.”

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“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.”

“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.

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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.

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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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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