Trump Appears to Admit White House Aides Signed Nondisclosure Agreements

A tweet disparaging Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former aide, appeared to confirm the highly unusual agreements, which officials have declined to acknowledge for months.

Comments: 235

  1. If said aides signed NDAs, they wouldn't be able to disclose it, would they. Reductio ad absurdum...

  2. @martin brown boy is this naive. People sign things all the time that are unenforceable. Caveat emptor is probably the more apt idea when signing anything.

  3. Typical Trump. Although Newman was "a poor employee but he kept her on despite complaints because she has said nice things about him.

  4. @Norm Bezane This struck me as well. What kind of "boss" keeps someone on solely because they are a suckup? And, even stranger, admits it?

  5. @Norm Bezane It gets worst for Trump, he messed with the wrong woman, Omarosa is not Michael Cohen. Omarosa learned long ago, to make secret "tapes" when dealing with Trump, she learned from him. She is very smart and hard as a rock. She silenced 2 NBC anchors yesterday, she is hard. Omarosa said she would love to talk to Bob Mueller, about Russia. She is not a joke. It is amazing that 2 unlikely woman may bring Trump down, porn star Stormy Daniels and Omarosa.

  6. @Norm Bezane That's all that it takes? No wonder Putin has control of our country! If we say enough "nice things" about Trump's performance on Celebrity Apprentice maybe we can get him to resign and go back to "reality tv".

  7. Except for seeing the occasional picture of her and her husband Eric boarding Air Force One with the President, Trump daughter-in-law Lara, had remained under my radar. However, now in her current role as a campaign advisor for Trump’s re-election and purportedly the conduit for offering a lip-smacking non -disclosure agreement to Ms. Manigault Newman, she is very much on my radar. Maybe she has been taking pointers in “complicity” from sister-in-law Ivanka. Apparently she’s a fast learner.

  8. @Susan. I suspect Lara Trump is just collecting a salary and signing documents when told to, while there is some Cohen like low-life arranging the chairs on the deck of this modern day ship of state...the Titanic.

  9. Is anyone going to stand up to this man and say, "No, you cannot do this. This is illegal and you cannot do it." Anyone?

  10. There will be a "Joe McCarthy" or "Lance Armstrong" moment when people reach a tipping point and the tide turns against him. A bully can only go on so long, but he can do a lot of damage in that time. Our nation could be a smoking ruin before he's done, except that Mattis would probably hold the line against starting an illegal war.

  11. @Paul Smith. The Dems should be shrieking from the rooftops making life uncomfortable for the Republican leadership. Most of them seem to be copacetic with this behavior.

  12. @Paul Smith President Trump's tweets and non-disclosure agreements are fodder for late night comedy and satire. President Putin does not tweet nor use NDA's. Putin smiles and smirks as he sends his foes to hospitals,mental institutions, prisons, urns and coffins. Putin gives gifts of bullets, Novichok or polonium -210. Putin hacked and interfered in the American Presidential campaign and election in 2016 in order to make Trump President and Russia great again.

  13. As someone who live and believe in democracy, the set of events happening in US seems very troubling. Democracy does not work if there is no good opposition, where are Democrats in all this ? Correct that Republicans have won the election but that does not means Democrats can just have a four year vacation. This does not happen in India and should not happen in any democracy. Democrats should file petition or whatever possible, print posters, conduct press meetings, rallies or whatever legally allowed to spread the wrongdoings of current administration. I don’t have much expectations from current Republicans but it’s more sad to see the inaction of everyone else. This is not how democracy works. A single person should never be allowed to destroy everything in a democratic nation, don’t make a joke of your nation. Wake up Democrats. You the people of US, Wake Up.

  14. @Singh America was not and is not a democracy. America was and is a divided limited power constitutional republic of united states where the people are the ultimate sovereign. This is not Ancient Athens. Nor is it the modern United Kingdom. Trump won the meanigful Electoral College majority in 50 separate state elections plus the District of Columbia. The 4 million vote majority that Hillary Clinton won in California did not count nor matter in any other state. The Founding Father's originally intended that only white Anglo-Saxon Protestant men who owned property like themselves were divinely naturally created equal with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You can't preserve, protect and defend what you clearly do not understand.

  15. @Singh, It's not a single person that is destroying our democracy -- it's the entire Republican party. The Democrats are doing as much as they can, right now. For Democrats to shout about it doesn't change any minds, because our population is strongly polarized between those who despise Trump (and the Republicans) and those Republicans who love Trump (about 80% of Republicans, at last count). Until the balance shifts in Congress, Democrats are pretty well locked out. So we Democrats are focused intensely on the Fall elections!

  16. @Singh I absolutely agree. If the democrats think they can sit this one out, there won't be anything left for them to take over.

  17. It will go to the supreme court and likely be upheld that his non- disclosure agreements can be enforced. This will be true even in light of freedom of information laws and no sock in mouth illegality.

  18. @terry brady I'd be surprised if it happened because in that process a lot of bad things would come to light Trump and his ilk want to keep hidden. Maybe you should ask yourself why there is a need for NDAs in the first place. If Trump did not foster such a hostile work environment he would not need NDAs.

  19. Sooner or later, the whole truth about this Administration will come out, whether or not Non Disclosure Agreements enter into the picture. For my part, I wish it would happen sooner. And I would think that, by now, even Mr. Trump's most ardent supporters would be tired of the incompetence, the ineptitude, the lying, the pettiness and the general nastiness that have been the hallmarks of his tenure. I hope that future generations will study and shudder at what happens to a democracy when malice and the cult of personality take over.

  20. @Jimbo; good luck, "incompetence, the ineptitude, the lying, the pettiness and the general nastiness" defines most of it's supporters

  21. For me, the above statements apply double for the ranks of attack dogs on the GOP side of the House Investigation Committee, summoning full nastiness in their efforts to dismiss in advance the findings of Mr. Mueller's investigation before the facts are fully known, despite the arrests of Russian conspirators already off to a good start and those of Trumpian operatives just beginning. If Trump is innocent as they say he is, all they have to do is sit back and wait. But they don't dare, and must manufacture self-righteousness to cover panic.

  22. @Jimbo Never underestimate the power of a tax cut for the rich and demonization of women and minorities. Remember, this is the GOP we're talking about - this is their reason for existence.

  23. A civilian in a private business can have an employee sign an NDA. A POTUS can't. White House employees do not work for Trump but for us so those NDAs are not valid.

  24. It still has not gotten through to Trump that he along with everyone in the White House and government work for us, the American people. I predict in a few months Mueller will make it abundantly clear to Trump that he works for the American people and not just his voters and supporters. The question is will the republicans get the memo too.

  25. @Chris I think Devin Nunes made it perfectly clear in his closed door donor meeting, that the Republican party's role is not to serve the american people, they only goal is to protect Trump.

  26. One cannot but enjoy the ironies of all these stories. We have a president who is one of the great con men of USA history and 40% of the population believes in him. That any person in the White House would sign a non-disclosure agreement for him tells you more and much about the ambitions of those who work there than it does about their personal integrity.

  27. @vincentgaglione, he's not a great con man if only 40% of the population believes in him. He likes to act as a populist but has never once, in all these years, had popular support... it's all imaginary, projections of his false realities that come and go as suits his megalomania.

  28. nondisclosure for anything other than copyright or patent should be illegal. anything else is hiding .

  29. @Don: I heartily second that. NDAs are harmful to the establishment of trust among colleagues.

  30. I'm sure these NDAs are illegal -- they are like bribes. Trump is demanding something of personal value to himself, in exchange for giving these people government jobs. He just doesn't have the mental concept of "public service".

  31. You mean like when he said: "I wouldn't have hired him, if I would've known that he would recuse himself from investigating me"?

  32. @Jonathan Just to remind Mr Trump, perhaps we should refer to him as "Public Servant, Trump" instead of President.

  33. Could someone name one thing that an honest man would do that Trump has done? One?

  34. @Marie For the record I reluctantly voted for Clinton... But Trump did manage the return of remains of American soldiers from North Korea. I have to admit, while lacking any style points, he did something that our congenial approach to diplomacy has failed to do for 60 years. You asked for one thing. . .

  35. @Tom Stoltz He cannot get credit for that just yet. We have no idea if the remains sent to the US are in fact Americans, or even human. It will take years of forensic analysis to determine the exact content of those boxes. My prediction is that we will discover those remains won't live up to the hype, as is true for everything Trumpian.

  36. @Tom Stoltze Remains have been returned in the past. The Times article that mentions th emost recent return also states "The remains flown out on Friday were the first handed over since a joint effort by American military experts and North Korean workers between 1996 and 2005. The group collected the remains of what were believed to have been 220 American soldiers."

  37. Perhaps the NDA's can be worked into additional Obstruction of Justice charges as the opportunity to begin impeachment proceedings comes along with the next Congress. Or maybe they will be addressed with any indictments that the Special Prosecutor formulates. Either way, they are obviously corrupt in their intent as an essential element of the criminal conspiracy that is the Trump Administration. They demand a vigorous response.

  38. Another example of Trump's poor judgment. So may of his appointments have left the adminstration by choice or the 'boss' has been forced to fire them.

  39. Aides should not be allowed to sign non disclosure agreements. They work for the American people and country not one man. These agreements should be void.

  40. They are unenforceable. They are purely intimidation tactics. The problem stems from the fact that they wouldn't get the job if they don't sign them.

  41. @Blackcat66....ummm, they are. Null and void. Unenforceable. The White House lawyers as much as said so, in a way that the aides would understand and our "very stable genius" of a president would NOT understand. Are we winning yet? What boggles my mind is this: anyone working closely with this guy for days on end HAS to know that he is completely out of his depth, totally incompetent...and they continue on, just like it all makes any sense whatsoever.

  42. This isn't chaos. Chaos has rules, theory and order, even when it appears not to. This is personal aggrandizement on an international scale abetted by family, friends, anglers, connivers, appointees, and, worst of all elected Republicans in Congress.

  43. Don't NDAs run counter to freedom of information requirements and laws that require record keeping of government decision-making? This POTUS's "presidential library" will consist almost entirely of a huge twitter archive, a large collection of spy-quality audio tapes, and many shelves of tell-alls written by administration insiders (many of whom will most likely do their writing inside the "big house").

  44. There won’t be a library.

  45. @JFR I can't believe taxpayers have to erect a permanent tribute to his ego..... on the other hand, it could serve as a constant reminder of how important rigorous public education is, and how the masses could ever think (and many still do) that it is a solid idea to put a self-serving megalomaniac into the WH. Ultimately, I blame the Dems for abandoning blue collar workers, the lower and middle class back in the 90's for easy money.... they have been more interested in capturing the moderate Republican vote than representing their constituents. I guess they thought "Who else would they vote for?" Now we know. And those voters are still solidly in Trump's corner.

  46. @JFR Lots of TV screens with old Fox News clips running on them ... that's all a Trump "Library" should contain, since Trump himself does not even read.

  47. And Trump calls the Washington of the establishment "the swamp." It sounds like his White House is filled with swamp creatures of the sort most of us would not care to have in our lives.

  48. Only a person and an organization that has things to hide would require this. Keep in mind this action is not for the good of the government as our system of secret clearances protects sensitive information. This is simply to protect our deal leader and pals from being exposed for what they are, scam artists.

  49. @Thomas Renner: Not only does this administration behave as if it has a lot to hide, but it also begins by establishing an atmosphere of mistrust. If you have to ask employees to sign an NDA that is not pertinent to intellectual property, then you are essentially stating that you have an utter lack of trust in everyone. It immediately sets up an adversarial situation, as you assert that the integrity of others is questionable. That is one of the biggest problems that NDAs pose to civil society, and one reason why I will not work for anyone who requires them for anything except the protection of intellectual property. I assume that anyone who is so controlling and so paranoid as to ask me to sign an NDA covering all aspects of my employment is someone who has something illegal or unethical to hide, and that is someone I do not want to work for. As a citizenry, we really need to reflect upon how some business practices are destructive to human relationships and society in general.

  50. I would dare trump to file a lawsuit against just one person who has violated an NDAs. I do not believe that he will. He knows that they have questionable legal standing and is only part and parcel of his blustery persona.

  51. Oh so that's why this White House leaks like a sieve. The staff thought they were signing 'Disclosure Agreements'.

  52. The National Anthem starts off with "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America..." Trump seems to believe that it starts off with "I pledge allegiance to Trump BEFORE the flag..."

  53. The Pledge of Allegiance starts that way. The National Anthem starts "Oh say can you see..."

  54. @Sajwert First sentence is wrong. National Anthem's first line is "O say can you see" Last 3 words of the Pledge of Allegiance are "justice for all." The Republicans (with hand over heart) intentionally ignore these last 3 words.

  55. A $15000 hush money contract? In spite of the questionable source of this money from the "re-election" campaign, they cannot possibly think this would keep someone as striving as Ms. Manigault Newman quiet. Mr. Trump's continuing confusion about the roles and responsibilities of government employees (to serve the people), and his staff's efforts to appease him are nothing short of remarkable, and disgusting.

  56. @Chris Clark Not $15,000. $15,000 a MONTH. That's the same $180,000-per-year salary she (word used loosely) "earned" when she (another word used loosely) "worked" in the White House. Granted, a scrupulous person wouldn't sell his/her conscience to Trump for any amount.

  57. @Chris Clark 15,000 a month.

  58. Anyone who pressures a public employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement is guilty of creating a hostile work environment and intimidation. This is truly a conspiracy to perpetuate a crime. Are the people in this Administration supposed to serve the nation or Donald Trump? The two are not synonymous.

  59. As they say, when you lay down with dogs don't be surprised when you get fleas.

  60. The President of the United States is so despicable and underhanded he requires the people who serve our government to sign papers promising not to tell the American people all the horrible things he does and says? That is pure Authoritarian Evil.

  61. @Ronny Geesch, I wonder what Melania had to sign to protect herself, her son and her immigrant parents.

  62. A White House NDA is not a binding. Workers there are employed and paid by the public, not Trump himself. He can have all his employees sign them, but there is no way they can be legally enforced. Of course, Trump believes (and behaves with impunity) he is above the law, so there's that.

  63. I wonder what sort of "teeth" are built into the NDAs? What penalty do those who sign them expect to face for violating the NDA? Just one more example of Trump's systematic debasement of our government and institutions.

  64. Why are we not surprised that His Unhinged Unraveling Unfitness - who never previously held elected office and whose vast 'bidness experience' never included running anything where he was publicly responsible to shareholders - thinks nondisclosure agreements he forces employees of OUR government, are enforceable ? Another artifact of the Rolling Trumpster Fire's overall bullying personality, giving him a cudgel to threaten people with dragging them into expensive legal proceedings/demeaning publicity based on his frivolous whim.

  65. I'm beginning to think that we need to radically change the way our elected officials serve. There seems to be no counterbalance to this man's craziness and overreach. I suggest that we allow Senators and Representatives to serve only one term, thus ending the inordinate time, money and energy spent on their reelection campaigns and removing the incentive to protect a president so clearly unqualified and dangerous. He is a disgrace to the office and so, increasingly, are his enablers.

  66. P Your "suggestion" would unfortunately preclude any skilled legislator dedicated to good governance from making a long term commitment to serving our nation, thereby preventing us from benefitting from that service. The problem is not term limits but the legalization of bribery in our political system from the Citizens United SCOTUS decision. Because of that, wealthy people and groups can achieve tyrannical power over our legislators. The NRA is a case in point. The result is that executives of large corporations and banks rule our lives and control us, and we never elected any of them for the job. Government is not the enemy. It is the dissolving of good governance through the corruption of large sums of money that is the enemy.

  67. Perhaps a better idea would be to ban all political "contributions" (bribes) from "special interests" (corporations). That is what is corrupting our government. We are supposed to be a government of the people, not a sugar daddy to for profit businesses.

  68. @P Another thought would be publicly financed elections.

  69. Question for all Americans to ask today, August 14, 2018: Is this practice legal, or illegal? Answer, please...

  70. @FritzTOF Illegal....44 U.S.C. Chapter 31 §3101-§3106...broadly known as the Federal Records Act 1950, since amended to include electronic media. This act maintains records of every media type for legal exegesis and other post facto analysis. Citizens on the public payroll are subject to many restrictions: this is not one. Clearly an effort to intimidate by the Executive. A man past 21 never changes. He taped conversations before. I am waiting for the Alexander Butterfield reveal!

  71. It may be legal but definitely not enforceable

  72. FritzTOF There is something else to question here, ethics. To consider only legality would be to strip the activities of our leaders down to the sociopathic level of human interaction, to the level of corporate thinking, of solipsistic endeavor, of absence of empathy, absence of compassion, absence of the Golden Rule. We expect that kind of behavior from large corporations and banks, not from our individual leaders. I've said it before in my commentaries here and elsewhere, after over five decades of behavioral studies, I can say with high confidence that he has a serious mental disturbance. It originates from the extreme pain he suffered throughout his childhood from his tyrannical bully father. His behavior is a result of the skills he developed during childhood and later to defend against the buried extreme pain which keeps bubbling up to the surface. The result is behavior that covers the range from disturbed to highly skilled. The general public has very limited knowledge of this kind of disturbance and tends to rationalize the irrational. The disturbance enables divisiveness, cult-like behaviors, various defensive behaviors, tendencies to believe in conspiracy theories, and many other disturbed patterns of behavior in all who interact with him or react to him. It also attracts people with sociopathic tendencies who may only have an interest in personal wealth or power over all other human interests and support him for purely selfish gain. It is also devolving. It's bad

  73. Trump is right. There is an urgent need to drain the swamp. Let us help him in this process by voting his cronies out of office this November. Unfortunately it'll take another two years before the swamp king himself can be thrown out.

  74. @chickenlover Not if he's impeached first.

  75. When Trump was asked for his tax returns, he issued a statement to the American people that “I’m under a routine audit and it'll be released, and as soon as the audit is finished it will be released." PolitiFact rated this promise as "Broken". Trump has broken many promises to the American people. He has little standing to complain when someone breaks one with him. He's the person who set the current (and hopefully temporary) norms for the White House.

  76. As an aside, is it not time to stop referring to electronic recordings as "tapes" unless an actual tape recorder was used? It would be more accurate to know what device was used when conversations are played back. Was the person wearing a device with a hidden microphone?

  77. I'm not sure what is more appalling--this president's requirement that White House employees sign nondisclosure agreements or his apparent use of taxpayer money to enforce them. The U.S. government is not a commercial entity like the Trump Organization--which needs to protect its brand, its reputation and the reputation of its leader as a matter of preserving business value. Nor does the loyalty obligation of federal employees--even those who work in the White House--run to the individual holding the office of president. That obligation, by the oath required of all U.S. employees, is to "bear true faith and allegiance" to the United States Constitution. So what does it say about this man that he would require White House employees to sign contracts not to disclose negative information about him? Is his ego is so fragile he is unable to accept criticism of any sort? Does he see the office of the presidency as an extension of his business empire with a Trump brand to protect? Does he know he is likely to do or say things in office that will compromise himself and the value of that brand? Does he not have the strength of character to elicit loyalty without having to buy it? And does he really expect U.S. taxpayers to pay for the silence required to preserve his ego and the commercial value of his brand? Does he have no appreciation at all for the fact that our government is "of the people, by the people and for the people" and not for himself and himself alone?

  78. @Steel Magnolia The answers to all your questions is YES.

  79. Even Trump knows the NDAs are legally unenforceable, but so what? The people in question still agreed to them. I would respect someone who’s refused to sign, but legal or not, everyone else agreed to keep quiet. Trump uses NDAs to intimidate people, even though he knows the law is not on his side, his enablers knuckle under to please him, only to later go back on their word. Who am I supposed to be rooting for in this scenario?

  80. Why root for any of them. Kick them all out and start over.

  81. @Peter Trump created a hostile environment where people are mistreated, hence the lack of loyalty. Some of these people were definitely not who I would root for, but I'm certainly not rooting for Trump. He is the "root" cause.

  82. @Peter: Believe Peter,as all decent citizens must that the strength of our major written laws, The U.S. Constitution above all else will save us and this country. Libby Wein

  83. Of course they must agree to confidentiality. It called executive privilege. Read the constitution.

  84. @Steve executive privilege has nothing to do with this. It applies to the executive office's ability to refuse to release information as when the executive may be asked to by the legislative branch, not employees' prerogative to share information.

  85. @Steve " The power of Congress or the federal courts to obtain such information is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, nor is there any explicit mention in the Constitution of an executive privilege to resist such requests from Congress or courts " -- From a simple Google search of Wikipedia...

  86. The words do not appear in the US Constitution.

  87. Congress must have signed the same agreement. It would explain why they let him destroy our Democracy.

  88. @joan, THIS!

  89. @joan Stunning! Just stunning what absolute fools these GOP supporters have become trying to please their false god, Trump. They are freneticaly jumping through hoops and fabricating bizarre explanations that put them in legal jeopardy or make no sense just to keep up with Trump's growing madness.

  90. @joan: Doubt there is enough ethics in congress anymore to adhere to agreements, legal or not, that are in their self-interest.

  91. As a lawyer, I've always wondered why DT frequently behaves as if he has no legal advice, as here, where he's demanding employees sign a contract as if he were a private entity, not a member of the government. This article explains it: Apparently his lawyers jolly him along, encouraging him to rely on unenforceable contracts, telling the other employees don't worry, it's an invalid contract you're signing. What does this say about the cognitive abilities of the client? What does it say about the integrity of the lawyers? What does it say about the obsequiousness of the employees?

  92. Can’t lawyers be disbarred?

  93. @Leigh I'm sure he gets legal advice. He just doesn't listen unless he's in danger of being arrested or impeach. I read that when he was caught hiring illegal immigrants to build his properties in New York, he was begging his lawyer to get him out of trouble.

  94. I totally get it, why worry about the planet changing for the worst in front of our eyes, the rich and large corporations feasting at everyone's expense, the Chinese expanding into our markets and becoming a global leader, Putin running around the Kremlin yelling "I can't believe this worked out so well, give those guys a million ruble bonus". We can just go every night to the Forum and watch the slaughter of our institutional dignity. It's really quite funny. Who doesn't want $15,000 a month to look the other way.

  95. Let's look at this from a middle America point of view. They see Trump being stabbed in the back by the people he hired. By the people he gave jobs to. People who are disloyal to the max. So I ask them: Do you record your conversations with your boss? Do you have to sign non disclosure agreements? Why is that? And regardless of how YOU feel about Ms. Manigault-Newman or Mr. Cohen, why do you think they went to the trouble (and for her it was great trouble) to record their conversations with Trump? Do you think, just maybe, they felt he was not trustworthy, that he didn't have their backs, and that he would stab them in the back just as sure as he would shake their hand? Where do you think they got the idea they needed to protect themselves. To avoid being left hanging out to dry. How many people told them "Watch your back with Trump- he is not to be trusted" ? When it walks like a back stabber, talks like a back stabber, and has a history of being a backstabber, it must be.....well a back stabber. Stop looking at this guy as an innocent bystander being taken advantage of for his money. And start putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. They are all right there in front of you. For some reason you want the picture to be Jesus. When two of the pieces have horns and the skin is red. And there is no piece with a halo.

  96. @Walking Man it is awfully arrogant of you to assume you can get inside of the heads of all of “middle america”.

  97. @Walking Man A boss that routinely insults his employees deserves to be "stabbed in the back".

  98. That picture in the attic is even more hideous than I expected. Mirror is another apt metaphor for of the condition of the condition we're in. I picked a bad century to quit drinking.

  99. For Trump to be appalled at anyone in his wretched circle to violate a NDA is laughable. He is an inveterate violator of the law. Trump's swamp is overflowing with vipers and backstabbers and he's coming apart at the seams. Unhinged? Quite an apt title. Just desserts.

  100. Frankly the use of Nondisclosure Agreements does not surprise me at all. Consider the circumstances driving interactions and relations in the White House.....high levels of insecurity and vulnerability, staff with little commitment to traditional institutional practice, personal vilification and abuse as common behavior, etc. In addition staff are in an exceptional position to witness and hear or hear about illegal activity or significant violations of ethics regulations. Once the ebb and flow of White House life becomes a Hobbesian war or all against all one would expect those in a position to demand such agreements would make every effort to see them in place. Others would regard steps to bypass agreements as prudent precautions against lies, deceit, smears, and general mistreatment. Clandestine taping might break the rules but it is rational behavior. And by all means document everything.....which members of Congress visit, and which call; who comes by in the evenings; what are hot topics for discussion; who is especialluy nervous. The White House as the capital of the surveillance state, how fitting!

  101. people who work in this administration is "high suspect of lies " for potential future employers. i would love to read Sarah Huckerbee Sanders' tell-all book. she is damaged goods. who would have hired her, after this administration, except her father ?!

  102. Doesn’t the president of the United States have more on his plate than a former unhappy White House employee? How is he doing the “people’s work,”—which was all he was elected to do—by getting down in the dirt to spar and jab with Omarosa Manigault Newman, a person who, by every account, was a non-entity? This is mud wrestling, not an activity that distinguishes the office of the presidency and “makes America great.” Oh; I forgot—“again.”

  103. So "Ms. Manigault Newman has also claimed that she was offered a hush-money contract with the Trump re-election campaign for $15,000 a month. A few others who have departed the White House under inauspicious circumstances are receiving that amount." Campaign finance law needs urgent reform if campaigns can legally pay off people to remain silent.

  104. @C Wolfe I think that this is a point that you raise is highly significant. How can a democracy function if the party in power can buy off critics with that kind of money?

  105. @HHenson I'd like to know the source of "that kind of money".

  106. Containing Trump’s scandals is like trying to contain all of California’s fires with one water hose.

  107. @TMOH A water hose connected to a gasoline tanker.

  108. Using slurs such as “Wacky” and other before are called incivility. Incivility is a desire to destroy civilization. Now the entire Republican Party stands for the complete end of the Aermican experience. Sad, the party of Lincoln is now the party of Trump.

  109. @JDW I hope I live long enough to read the history books' coverage of Trump when he is out of power and unable to control information about him.

  110. @JDW . Wacky is kind.... he called her "low life", "vicious" and now "a dog" as well as. As much as I don't care for Omarosa, she is really getting under his skin, and diverting his attention from attacks on Mueller.

  111. Kelly's words to her in the Situation Room sure sound like a threat, don't they?

  112. could these NDAs conflict with the Constitutional oaths of office? Our democracy is supposed to be based on service to the common good not fealty to a single person, monarch, emperor, or dictator. might these NDAs by formalizing a conflicting loyalty (to don the con rather than the United States Constitution) make all who sign them - or require them to be signed - "traitors?"

  113. The non-disclosure agreements should come as no surprise. An instrument commonly used in the corporate world to protect trade secrets, it fits right into the operations of Team Trump who treat the executive branch of our government as a feeding trough. Please encourage our "brilliant" guy in the Oval Office to seek enforcement of them in a Federal court. Hint: they are worth little more that a used garbage bag.

  114. One of the biggest clubs carried by well-heeled bullies is the fact that they always have powerful legal weapons at their disposal, while their victims often do not. In the end it rarely matters who's right. There's usually a legal mismatch between those who can afford the best help and those who can't.

  115. Trump and his administration are an abomination. He still does not understand that his role as POTUS is not just another corrupt run at the helm of one of his corporations where he can do business with and align himself with the same slimy "leg breakers" who can "get stuff done" He thinks his administration and the people of this country WORK FOR HIM! Hense the NDA's. He threatens and or fires his own people right and left when they do not show what he feels is proper loyalty and runs this country like it's his own (eventually to be bankrupt) company. His interests are in himself (as always) and consequences are meaningless (as they have always been) to this privileged narcissist. Can his supporters and sycophants actually believe this ugly and evil man is doing anything other than his own bidding? These people are going to be on the wrong side of history here and I anticipate them telling a majorly revisionist account of their role in and support of this dark time when all is said and done. If Trump supporters want people to stop thinking they are evil, corrupt, and ignorant well they will just have to stop supporting our evil, corrupt and ignorant president.

  116. The White House is the American people's house. Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster are Trump's houses. Every person working in the White House is our hired help including Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

  117. It would be great to be able to read one of these non-disclosure agreements to see what kind of a monarchy Trump is trying to establish. It’s one thing to keep national secrets, but it’s a whole different thing to say you won’t tell the country you serve that the bum running it is the biggest liar in the world.

  118. “...said more about Ms. Manigault Newman’s disrespect for the institution than it did about her boss.” ——— These people have no shame. There has been no greater disrespect for the office of President than that which Trump practices. Daily, he stomps on it, pounds it, and grinds it into the marble floors in the West Wing. Their hypocrisy is beyond understanding.

  119. This white house aspires to stifle criticism through non-disclosure agreements that won't stand up in court. When you recall the Michael Wolff book along with Omarosa's accounts---Trump is out of the loop, as staffers advance their own interests. Trump doesn't even know what General Kelly is doing? Is Kelly the shadow president, as "adviser" Steve Bannon seemed previously? Trump's own words on tape claim Kelly "runs a big operation." Trump didn't know Omarosa was fired? Exhaustion now has Trump's picture beside it in the dictionary: Ample incompetence, horrible judgment + amateurish behavior in this white house.

  120. "Mr. Price said that the episode with Ms. Manigault Newman showed that “this is not an administration, it’s more a personal fiefdom of Donald Trump.”" There is delicious irony for those of us who don't support this president or his administration that the very tabloid tactics he used for decades are being turned on him. As taxpayer though, I take no comfort from the fact that "inconvenient" staffers get booted out on retainers of $15K a month essentially for keeping quiet. This isn't an administration so much as a racket. When all the dust settles from this small-minded den of vipers we call a presidency, I hope some RICO charges can be brought to deal with these non-disclosures and hush money. Why should we pay for Trump's paranoia and obsession with control?

  121. I'm exhausted. Trump is exhausting. This administration is exhausting. Please vote in November so we can begin the process of repairing the ways this man has broken our country.

  122. @Rose in PA Please make sure the voting results are not hacked and the results changed by an 11 year old.

  123. The very fact that in order to have anything to do with Donald Trump, one of the first thing anyone has to do is immediately sign a Non-Disclosure Agreements, should tell you how toxic the environment is around him.How paranoid does one have to be in order to force those who deal with him on a daily bases must be silenced on anything pertaining to the Truth. I cannot; and never will; imagine signing anything like that in my life. What is the difference between that; and the Mafia`s "Code of Silence?"Yet those who would sell their soul to the devil if the price is right; continue to do so. What a Swamp!

  124. I know Trump thinks that his "counter punching" is some sort of show of strength. I believe most people, myself included, think it's just plain petty and very unbecoming of the President of the US.

  125. Has Trump not reached the height of hypocrisy? Requiring "Non-Disparagement Agreements" of his underlings while, on a daily basis, cementing his reputation as the most insulting, rude, vulgar, and condescending president in history. The flip side to the NDAs was also revealed by Trump (via Tweet): Saying GREAT things about TRUMP turns losers and lowlifes and wack jobs and low IQs into BFFs. That is a standard for professional political competency that is almost hard to fathom coming from the most powerful human on Earth.

  126. @rab Perhaps Trump is suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  127. I want to know if the NDA's include a nondisparagment clause. It could help explain why aides twist themselves in knots to justify this president's hateful words. Seriously, does Sarah Sanders have one?

  128. As a never Trumper, the Press has to choose it's battles. Signing NDA's is hardly unusual or press worthy. It is SOP for everyone from high level (and lower) corporate employees exposed to confidential materials to hollywood A listers. Further, non-disparagement clauses would also not be unusual though Trump would never be able to handle his side of the bargain.

  129. @Chris You should read the piece again. Federal employees do not sign non-disclosure agreement save for the secrecy agreement one signs when granted a security agreement. Further, federal employees are protected by whistleblower laws and are encouraged to report illegal acts in their departments. I served as a federal employee for 25 years and never signed an NDA other than what was required upon being granted a security clearance. What the third rate despot is demanding is no one write a tome about their term, or maybe sentence, in the White House.

  130. @Chris: What do you not understand about the difference between public service and private employment? Everyone in government, from the president to the file clerks in the basement of any given agency, are public servants. We pay them. We are their bosses. Our covenant with public servants allows them to keep certain secrets in the interests of national security, but otherwise public servants do not keep secrets from their bosses. Trump has no right to force anyone to sign NDAs, because he is not in charge. This is not the private sector, where paranoia and the urge to manipulate and control others dominate many executives' behavior. We have allowed Trump to act as steward of the executive branch on our behalf. But we, the American people, decide if he is doing a good job. Right now, a growing number of Americans think he is probably the worst steward of the executive branch we have ever hired. And we are going to elect a Congress that is going to put the brakes on him and take him down several pegs. He needs to learn a major lesson: that of humility.

  131. Since when is the President of the USA, when working in the White House, to be considered or treated like a Hollywood "A lister"? Since he has a reputation for paying off porn stars for their silence?

  132. 1) Will President Trump sue Ms. Manigault Newman for breaking an NDA? And who will sue? As she's a federal employee, will the Justice Department take legal action? 2) Isn't it curious that President Trump kept this "poor employee" around only because "she said nice things things about him." If true, is this the strategy of a "successful businessman"? So much for "hiring the best people." It seems that every new day I have to catch my breath again, as this President's utter contempt for the law and for basic ethics is truly breathtaking. Our democracy is slowly choking to death.

  133. @jrinsc Bro, I am black enough to know america was never a democracy.

  134. Ah, non-disclosure aggrements, secret government, deep state, lies, scams all add up to Trump and the GOP!

  135. Proof positive that this man thinks he's still filming The Apprentice. "Say anything and I'll sue you for all you're worth!" NDAs are the actions of a Liar in Deceiver, not a Commander in Chief. I wonder if he realizes that, like attorney/client privilege, NDAs are often negated out the window when crimes are thought to have been committed.

  136. @Sarah, the threat of bankruptcy through frivolous litigation is quite common in the US.

  137. Omarosa’s latest publicity book stunt has made Trump look more and more sympathetic than if she had been openly supporting him. For given the unbroken negative pubic attacks against Trump in the liberal media, he could not have asked for a more obnoxious personality at this crucial off-year election period as a contrast to his act of extreme tolerance and generosity. As a matter of fact, on any “Who do you trust/Who do you prefer” likeability scale of public opinion, ‘Omarosa or Trump,”it’s no contest, especially among most working Americans, most white voters, and the largest segment of Hispanic and black voters in polls of Trump support among them ever. Omarosa’s vulgar persona is making Trump’s character look very good to voters. Liberal Democratic embrace of her for her vicious smears has been a brilliant political success — for Trump and his Republican candidates for Congress this fall.

  138. @Bayou Houma There is no "Liberal Democratic embrace" of Ms. Manigault Newman. What we do see that that we were, are and will be always be proven right about the folly of electing to public office a lying, morally bankrupt attention hound with no experience or interest in actually governing that Trump supporters and most Republicans seem to have embraced with open arms. Neither Donald Trump nor Ms. Manigault have any "character" and both are equally "vulgar." For some mysterious reason, Trump supporters and Republican can't or refuse see this, probably because they are too embarrassed to admit their own gullibility in supporting this corrupt clown and his freak show. There is nothing to for them to be proud of.

  139. @bayou I think you miss the point - If Omarosa is of poor character, then why was she hired by and championed by Trump...and multiple times? Why are there so many "disloyal" people in Trumps's orbit? Why is the Trump administration firing people right and left and why is the leaking in this administration something that mirrors the Titanic (after the iceberg) Having someone like Omarosa do her publicity thing is just watching one more corrupt, conscienceless drone exit Trump's corrupt, conscienceless orbit. Perhaps the takeaway from all this is - Why does Trump surround himself with so many of these people? maybe the answer is, Trump is corrupt and conscienceless himself.

  140. @Bayou Houma Making Trump appear more sympathetic? No, Omarosa's book is making herself, along with Trump and the rest of the staff look, well, take the "sym" off of sympathetic and you get it. Second, any persona that is vulgar is perpetrated by Trump. Omarosa is merely doing what Trump does-grift and sell us snake oil. Lastly, I see no "liberal Democratic embrace", only disbelief that another former Trump staffer, after being fired, is taking advantage of that brief employment to practice con-artistry, as Trump does, and is successful in his con in reading your comment.

  141. Who hires someone 4 times?!? After that person has repeatedly been fired? Is that good leadership? Certainly seems like bad judgment.

  142. @HSNYC This is something I keep seeing repeated. She was eliminated as a contestant on a reality TV contest, not really “fired”, just like she got kicked out of the Big Brother house. She actually came rather close to winning that one. Reality TV people—not real, not real jobs! Kinda like the real White House, unfortunately.

  143. This man has admitted several times in print that he hires people out of personal prejudice rather than merit. To whit, he's admitted to because a person says nice things about him, that he hired now-wacky Omarosa because she begged him with tears in her eyes. No business I'm familiar with would be able to use those hiring criterion. No clever lawyer can do something with this? Or is this monarchy beyond the pale. To paraphrase Leona Helmsey seems only the little people must follow rules.

  144. More Art of the Deal behavior: maximize leverage to control outcomes, ignoring ethics, tradition, manners, and respect of others. If Trump's lawyers weren't preoccupied with staying out of jail or bullying the Palestinians, they'd be all over her with legal threats and possible breakage of limbs.

  145. Just be more example of how badly Trump misunderstands (or just doesn’t care about) the nature of public service. We as taxpayers and citizens must be able to know the daily workings of the White House (quaintly known as “The People’s House”); 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is not a satellite of Trump Tower. As the presidency was conceived and has been understood, by everyone who managed to stay awake during junior high civics class, HE works for US. I know that is a foreign concept that sticks in his craw, but the presidency was never intended to feed one man’s insecurities and bloated ego, or to keep his secrets.

  146. @MDB1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has become a satellite of Trump Tower.

  147. @Ralph — “We the People” can easily change that, no? It’s up to us if we want one man to redefine, if not dismantle, the concept of government and public service as it’s been understood since the days of the Founders. We don’t have to let this man rewrite the rules to suit himself. Again, our choice. I still say the Federalist Papers should be required reading for everyone. These essays show how exquisitely and beautifully defined our system of government is, and why it’s worth protecting. I highly reccomend it over, say, “The Art of the Deal.” A clarification to my comment: I intended to write, “assuage his insecurities and feed his bloated ego.” Makes more sense that way.

  148. @Ralph The only thing missing is the golden "TRUMP". But perhaps it will appear during his third rate despotic military parade.

  149. "As stewards of the taxpayers federal employees typically are not asked to muzzle themselves to protect reputations or insulate others from embarrassment, as is typical in confidentiality agreements that bind private citizens." Trump is, in effect, creating a private standing army at the tax payers expense and to the tax payers humiliation. We may not have an endless supply of money, but it seems that our capacity for humiliation is unlimited. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for showing us what cowards your fellow Americans really are.

  150. Does Trump talking about the unenforceable NDAs violate the NDA? Trump is melting down publicly, one tweet at a time. He wonders why there is so much negative coverage of him. It would be funny in a sick way, but this man is President.

  151. @Rita There's probably going to be a lot of speculation of what the non-disclosure agreements are covering up. Hence, more negative coverage.

  152. @Rita I think his IQ is a lot higher than that of his supporters. So, of course they think he is a genius.

  153. I don't think trump "appeared" to acknowledge the NDA's, he admitted that he has had staff actually sign them. The fact that these NDA's are not enforceable and are at best just another symptom of trump's narcissism. I would appreciate the media actually stating facts rather than always giving trump the benefit of the doubt by using terms such as "appeared to", "may have", et al to describe things he has actually done. He is not a king or a monarch although autocrat works well to describe him.

  154. @Oyster Bay , Trump is an autocrat since the checks and balances that our founders enshrined in our Constitution are not operational under this Republican juggernaut now in power. The Republicans in Congress and the Supreme Court have completely abrogated their constitutional duties to provide checks and balance on the executive branch of government.

  155. @Oyster Bay Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  156. @Oyster Bay To be fair, The Times is reporting he said she signed an NDA. It's not like we have any reason to believe anything he says and accept it as verifiable facts.

  157. Somewhere in all of these thousands of tweets there are more than a few that are going to come back and haunt this guy.

  158. @Stan Carlisle If a person doesn't learn from history he is bound to re tweet it

  159. @Stan Carlisle — Just when will that happen? He’s tweeted enough over the past two years that would, for anybody else, constitute terms of service violations and account suspensions (if not outright bans). His egregious and inflammatory public and private comments, in addition to his 3 a.m. Twitterstorms, should have pushed him off the public stage as well. His sketchy business past is yet one more red flag. Yet he’s still here. He has gotten the reinforcing message since birth, and now from both Congress and his base, that he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. No wonder he is such an insufferable, childish human being. If there is unclassified information that the public ought to know, the media should file and refile FOIA requests until they are like gnats buzzing around his head. Trump and his staff work for us — these NDAs are just a small step toward a secret government, and are a truly bad precedent to set.

  160. Not as long as Americans have the attention span of a Golden Retriever.

  161. Non-disclosure agreements and sinecures offered in exchange for silence. This is not how a democracy works. But it does seem to be how the United States government now works under Trump. Which raises the question: are we still a democracy?

  162. @617to416 Good question. Especially when we seem to be becoming more and more like the Kremlin everyday...Guess all those meetings with Mr. Putin paid off.

  163. @N. Smith Yeah, next time a candidate tells you he admires Putin's leadership style, believe him.

  164. i am wondering who or what organization is paying the $15K each month to the however many former aides?

  165. @chris I heard that it was Trump's election campaign funds--but from the last election or the 2020 that he's already running for?

  166. @chris I think some of the inauguration money is being used. Also, RNC has a slush fund for these kind of payments.

  167. @chris Putin and the Russian oligarchs?

  168. What is the source of these $15,000/month hush money payments? If they are public funds, is this an impeachable offense. Using our money to pay off former government employees to keep quiet should be illegal. If they are private funds, whose? Quite a convenient way to bribe the administration, and should be illegal.

  169. @SDG writes: "What is the source of these $15,000/month hush money payments? If they are public funds, is this an impeachable offense. Using our money to pay off former government employees to keep quiet should be illegal. If they are private funds, whose? Quite a convenient way to bribe the administration, and should be illegal." That's a very good question!

  170. This is not fake news. According to VOA this report is published: 'Voice of America's Mandarin Service correspondent and a multimedia journalist working for VOA were detained Monday evening by Chinese police while attempting to interview a retired Chinese professor who was taken away by authorities during a live television interview with VOA nearly two weeks ago." I have written to my local member of parliament to protest the incarceration of these folk. Mr Trump could with his deal making skills get his buddies Mr Xi, Mr Putin and Mr Kim to release these journalists. The Voice of America is heard around the world. Mr Trump has an opportunity to assert free speech or not. The right thing to do is assert that VOA journalists have a right to pursue their job and not be incarcerated in a foreign land. Putin laughs at the vapid indignity and crass ignorance of Mr Trump. Man up Mr Trump.

  171. Kellyanne Conway who has signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement when asked if she ever heard her boss use racial slurs responded "No."

  172. Just imagine if various agencies, such as the FDA, VA, EPA etc., were required to sign NDAs at the behest of the heads of such agencies. Oh boy..! While confidential and sensitive information are protected, nothing else is, and that nothing else subsumes a large amount of information that belongs to the public. 1984 has finally come.

  173. @Nhersh I wonder when this started. Maybe Trump panicked after the employees at the EPA reported their bosses' loonie behavior, and realized that he might be next.

  174. Who is paying the hush money - these $15k per month "payments"? The taxpayers? The corruption is staggering.

  175. And the political Chess game between the two parties continues. It is quite clear that this is how the game is being played; ergo, we should not be asking how is this even possible. If you recall, the primary objective in chess is to checkmate your opponent's King. When a King cannot avoid capture then it is checkmated and the game is immediately over. The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check.

  176. It seems to me that Mr. Trump's revelation of the Non Disclosure Agreement is an index of how fearful he actually is that Ms. Manigault Newman will now say some things that might pose a genuine threat to his reign.

  177. In general the machinations of the White House, aside from classified information, are public records and are kept by the National Archives. These NDA's are an obvious attempt to protect his own misdeeds and lies as are his "private" meetings with Putin and Kim Jong-un. Trump lacks an understanding that he is no longer a private citizen and what he does affects all of us not just his "base" of fans. National Archive employees have had to follow him around with Scotch tape to preserve documents. So Trump's Presidential library will be full of papers that have been picked out of the trash and taped back together.

  178. @psrunwme, ...and what of those pieces of paper that he chews up?

  179. Let's all stop for a moment and reflect upon how much of the administration's and Congress' time, attention and resources has been expended on nonsense. Pure and utter nonsense. Are we becoming a banana republic- without the bananas?

  180. We are not becoming, we are one. Do you think the Asian countries president Obama lured into the trans pacific agreement are waiting for us to come back? Do you think China is waiting? All while our president is spending precious country time on Omarosa.

  181. Yes

  182. @Tom Garlock It's not without the bananas. The administration and the Republican party are all bananas.

  183. Up next, the Presidential Non-Disparagement Agreement.

  184. This country’s voters seem determined to prove to the world that they were correct in calling us “Ugly Americans”. I partly blame Hollywood industry for introducing us to shows that exploit and celebrate people’s dysfunction. Perhaps one could argue it was always there and now it’s just out in the open.

  185. @Maria unfortunately, these shows must have been watched and enjoyed by some people, or they would not have continued-

  186. If they signed nondisclosure agreements wouldn't that start with the agreement itself?

  187. @Tom B - I think you're thinking of Fight Club, not the American government. I understand how confusing that can be for some people...not really. #Thetruthshallsetyoufree

  188. Obviously, Trump the showman has turned the White House into a reality show for the world to watch in rapt interest. He knows nothing about leading a government, but simply has transformed our entire country into a version of the Apprentice with him in the starring role. Maybe congress will finally get off its collective butt and do its job and fire our Presidential Apprentice with "You're Out!!"

  189. Dear GOP, This is your leader and standard bearer. Aren't you ashamed yet? We the people will have something to say about the depravity in our White House come November. Just you wait. We have had enough of this lowlife. Good luck with your power trip Signed, America "When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!" DJT 8.14.18

  190. @deb I would like to hear what Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she tries to lie her way out of this one.

  191. Trump's narcissism, paranoia and neediness have no bottom. That well is infinite in its depth. He referred to Omarosa Manigult Newman using the n-word off screen and out of her presence during his 'star turn' in an asinine 'reality' show. Fired her from said show three times according to reports. Yet he put her in his White House because "she said nice things about me." Needy, needy, needy. So now, yes, Trump, the inveterate, compulsive taper, is being "hoist on his own petard," and I for one am loving it. Is Trump taping conversations in the Oval Office? If you believe otherwise, look up the word "gullible" in the dictionary. That's you. The Comey tapes exist. And so do hundreds, thousands of others. Remember, Trump is a narcissist's narcissist. He can't hear his own voice enough. And if he can get someone else saying something that compromises them on tape, he gets chill bumps of pleasure. He has a right to be paranoid, all things considered. As a disgusting person accustomed to saying and doing disgusting things, he knows he is open to discovery, and now it is coming true. Omarosa and Cohen are lightweights, though. His BFF Vladimir has the recordings the world really needs to see and hear. If Putin really wants to endear himself to the real (not fake) majority of American voters, not merely to Trump and his cult, all he need do is post them on YouTube. His popularity would be off the charts.

  192. I'm not a big fan of Ms. Manigault Newman, but the old saying "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" popped into my head while reading this article.

  193. @Stan Carlisle Any male who calls any woman a dog has earned that rage, and has no business governing. That's what popped into my head.

  194. @Stan Carlisle — They’re both acting out of juvenile spite. That’s why I take Omarosa with a huge grain of salt, and not as the courageous heroine as she sees herself. She has obviously learned from the best. You get hit? Hit back harder.

  195. All dogs are adorable so this is an insult to the canines.

  196. White House staff are not Trump's private workers, and they are to support The Constitution, not sign agreements to the man himself as loyalty pledges. It will be interesting to see what happens next. This is the problem with electing an unsuited president. Did he ever take civics classes? Are his lawyers intimidated or compromised? Almost 2 years in office, and Trump doesn't know these agreements aren't binding. I would love to see it challenged.

  197. @One More Realist in the Era of Trump Not a fan of Omarosa but thanks to her, I would imagine current aides and staffers are not as fearful of "talking" knowing their NDA's are not binding.

  198. @One More Realist in the Era of Trump: Given the current makeup of SCOTUS, I'd be wary.

  199. Did tupPence also sign one? if so it likely violates his oath of office since an NDA essentially swears loyalty to something other than and in conflict with the Constitution chuck 'em both out

  200. Trump shows again and again that Government should not be run like a business. Government should be run like government.

  201. @Derek Wilmott Trump runs government like a poorly-run business. Remember, this is a man who ran his businesses into bankruptcy six different times. He is also a terrible businessman.

  202. There are five elements of a contract to make a fully enforceable document. A public servant is paid a certain amount to perform public duties. Where is the extra consideration(cash) coming from to support this additional duty of nondisclosure, outside their normal course of services in perpetuity? Is Trump paying for this ? I am sure Mr. McGahn has explained this to the signees.

  203. The revelation of all these nondisclosure agreements isn't exactly a good advertisment for transparency in government, is it?

  204. If the people who work for Trump are considered govt employees, and if, as I have heard the penalty is a lawsuit in which the person has to pay Trump money, somehow that doesn't seem right. They might be on Trump's staff, but they receive their checks (pay) from the government. Trump is a government employee just like anyone else who works for the government. To be able to sue for damages just because they signed an agreement, isn't that extortion?

  205. So, Amorosa and 2 to 3 other former White House employees were given $15,000 a month as some kind of severance pay (hush money?) I assume the Trump Foundation paid for this, not the tax payers??

  206. @Monica C: Amorosa declined the deal. $180,000 per year is roughly a congresscritter's salary.

  207. @Monica C that question crossed my mond too!

  208. @Monica C Omarosa has said she refused to take this money which she characterized as an attempt to "silence" her with an NDA and a pay-off.

  209. Confidentiality in discussions in the Oval Office is necessary; revelation of classified information is illegal. This all used to presuppose that the President carefully appointed staff based on qualifications, and that they all had some sense of respect for the responsibilities of the mission. Non Disclosure agreements are completely unsuitable - and should be banned - for US GOVERNMENT employees - answerable ultimately to the public. Trump and co are not producing a proprietary product, they are governing -- and every President is subject to outside assessment which is in part come from former appointees describing the processes that occurred. Omarosa I had no qualifications for the job -- not remarkablein this Administration. The President's tweets disparaging her are simply disgusting; emblematic of his misogyny and racism. The comments - revealing his egotistical views, his lack of personal control and yes - his deep seated mistrust and dislike of a majority of US residents - would get someone in the business world fired This man continues to treat the Presidency as if it were HIS alone. It is time for Congress to demonstrate that he does not own the government nor does he represent the views of most Americans. vote vote VOTE

  210. He definitely does not represent the views of most Americans. He lost the popular vote by 3 million. We need to get rid of the electoral college but I don't think the republicans will ever want to give up their advantage.

  211. If Trump were capable of thinking straight, he would have asked lawyers (not Michael Cohen, though) if these nondisclosure agreements were legal and enforceable. But he's not a man who is capable of critical thinking, nor does he take advice from people who know what they're doing.

  212. No tax returns, NDAs, hush money after firings. How's that for transparency in our government!

  213. Well another one bites the dust. Maybe it is time for these tapes of the former employees of Trump Administration be subpoenaed by the Mueller Investigators to ascertain what other information might be on it. Also the tapes from the Oval office that Trump is surely hiding, should be listened too. Trump appears to be more paranoid than Nixon. And perhaps an interview again of Kelly. What a bunch of civil servants that we have in the White House. Or should I say Trump servants.

  214. I have read about and watched the circus side show that defines the current and seemingly endless Omarosa/Trump dispute. We all know Trump lies and we all know he thinks he's running "his" country and not "our" country and that he gets to make the rules (ie: NDA's for a federal job). This won't change until he's gone. Just replace Omarosa's name and we'll see a similar conflict with someone new next month. The script doesn't seem to change that much. Sad!

  215. Trump's inexperience, needy personality and pathological egotism can't deal with any form of criticism, and he therefore thinks a non-unenforceable agreement will help shield him. This just continues to highlight his mixture of ignorance and continued confusion over the difference between governing the world's most powerful country and running a branding company, where he was accountable to no one.

  216. Trump dismissed her as a poor employee but said that he kept her on despite complaints because she has said nice things about him. Trump's ego is running the show. Remember the Cabinet meeting where everyone lathered praise on him? In his mind it was probably one of the finest days in his presidency.

  217. It is becoming increasingly clear that Trump is more a reflection of the extent to which American society has eroded. The Constitution is a mockery as a model of representative government. Instead of the ‘right hand not knowing what the left hand doing’ or one hand washing the other, one hand is trying to cut off the other. This all can’t end well. There is no honor among thieves. And incompetence seeks its own level. This is as corrupt and degraded as it seems. Can’t wait till the show gets cancelled.

  218. Are you saying that Trump lies about NDA for his staff? The next thing that you will be telling us is that he doesn't hire the best people like Price, Pruitt, Ross, Porter, and Manigault Newman.

  219. Somebody neglected to mention to him the old “transparency in government” idea.

  220. "Mr. Trump posted throughout the morning about Ms. Manigault Newman, dismissing her as a poor employee but saying that he kept her on despite complaints because she has said nice things about him." That comment says a lot more about Trump's vanity than it does about Ms. Manigault Newman's capabilities. I guess he didn't do too well in his management courses at Wharton.

  221. OK, so who are the several other former White House staffers who are drawing $15,000 a month to keep their mouths shut? I could use the dough. Can I get in on that? For 15K, I can keep a whole lot of quiet. Deal me in.

  222. When a WH staffer says "Everyone in the WH lies," then she's lying. And of course Trump is lying too. But if they're lying, then "Everyone in the WH lies" is a lie. Not true. In the real (non reality-TV) world this classical paradox can only be maintained by a master and apprentice who are either mentally weak or insane: unless, like the N. Koreans and Chinese during the Korean War, paradox is used to brainwash and then control people, as in "The Manchurian Candidate." In "Star Trek" Cap. Kirk also weaponized paradox.

  223. @Cryptolog Sometimes liars tell the truth.

  224. President Trump uses the NDA the way he uses Mar-A-Lago as his Situation Room. And remember one of last week's Top 50 Outrages of the Week was that denizens of Mar-A-Lago have input toward the running of the VA. The other Top 49 outrages? Who can remember while reading about Turkey and Syria? And it's only Tuesday, right? Let's go all the way back to outrage #1 - Show Us Your Tax Returns!

  225. Trump needs to sign an NDA to stop him from disparaging Mueller, Warren, Pelosi or anyone else. The ship of state is sinking does anyone believe the skipper will go down with it?

  226. How can a government official be asked to sign a non- disclosure agreement if there is and inquiry into the administration? Exactly what is he trying to hide? He is not running a corporation nor is he a Hollywood figure who might want to protect his privacy. He is answerable to the American people and their are no secrets.

  227. Maggie Haberman - I just finished watching The Fourth Estate for the second time. Thank you to you and the entire team at the Times for your dogged pursuit of the truth. We know you're exhausted. We know you're all sacrificing your families and lives to hold this president and his administration to account for their actions. It's primary day in Minnesota. The first meaningful opportunity to cast our votes to end the insanity. Please keep up the AMAZING reporting.

  228. First and foremost, public employees are paid by the taxpayers and answer to the taxpayers and citizens of this Country. Where does Trump get off having administration officials and staff sign non-disclosure agreements ? I understand a Memorandum of Agreement. However, who in the White House legal team determined that a NDR is legal plus state not disclose the document to their lawyers? Really? What a "Mickey Mouse operation." Rock on Omarosa, even if she a questionable character. She is smart, knows Trump and is able to kick him in the behind.

  229. Who else is getting $15k per month?

  230. Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

  231. Hoisted by his own petard indeed. In time Daffy Donny will prove be more whacky than Omarosa. Trump is the president. The president must always be above the fray and work for the common good, not for the good of himself, or herself by requiring federal employees to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep them from telling us the obvious-the emperor really has no clothes, or clue.

  232. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the president and his administration work for the American people? By agreeing to nondisclosure agreements, the people in Trump's administration are conspiring to keep information from the American people and to protect Donald Trump by concealing the truth.

  233. These are federal employees, not employees of the Trump Organization. They are employed by "we the people", not by the President. A court needs to determine whether these agreements have legal standing; if they don't, the President himself may be guilty of obstructing justice in regards to the proper workings of government under our laws.

  234. Vlad the Impaler, House of Borgia, Idi Amin, Donald Trump, Josef Stalin or Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Donald Trump, Lech Walesa I do not expect at this point Trump comes close to deserving a position on either list. I do however feel the strong tug of history as if something important happens in this presidency and many minds from the future are probing this period to understand its formation.

  235. Hard to pick a side to support in the saga of this loathsome duo. I have no doubt that Omarosa was a terrible employee and that Trump a terrible boss. Trump routinely hires the worst possible choice for every job. I fully expect him to nominate Satan to lead Session's Religious Freedom Task Force. If there is a lesson to learn from Omarosa, it is that it actually matters who surrounds the President. Advisors matter. Whether it is Darth Cheney and crew pushing for war; or Stephen Miller channeling his inner cyborg; or Bannon drumming up support for Mussolini; or the entire inept Administration of the otherwise admirable Jimmy Carter, advisors matter. Over and over, Trump has demonstrated that personal loyalty to him, and a love of toadying are the necessary qualifications to be on his team. Competence, a desire to serve the nation, an ability to keep one's hands out of the till - none of those qualities are required. Omarosa? She's a bump in the road. A noxious tell-all and a history of no actual impact on the nation will be her epitaph.