Trump ordered White House staff to sign non-disclosure agreements

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According to a draft agreement Marcus said she viewed, violators could face $10 million penalties for each unauthorized release of "confidential information" - and the agreement applied not only to their White House tenures but "all times thereafter".

He argued in a statement that the nondisclosure agreements signed by White House staffers "could prevent them from alerting the public to illegal or unethical conduct in the White House".

Costa: "One thing I always wondered, are you going to make employees of the federal government sign nondisclosure agreements?"

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Moreover, said the source, this confidentiality pledge would extend not only after an aide's White House service but also beyond the Trump presidency.

Some of the staffers were reportedly hesitant to sign the agreements, but did so after pressure from then-chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard Priebus ACLU: Trump nondisclosure agreements for White House staffers are "unconstitutional" Trump required staff to sign nondisclosure agreements that last past his presidency: report Scaramucci signs book deal on "The Blue Collar President": report MORE and the White House counsel.

One person who signed an agreement said the NDAs were similar to those signed during Trump's campaign. "What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that's not something that we can dictate to them how they operate", said Sanders at the briefing, defending Trump's congratulatory message. The $10 million figure, I suspect, was watered down in the final version, because the people to whom I have spoken do not remember that jaw-dropping sum. "It's not meant to be constrained by the four years or eight years he's president - or the four months or eight months somebody works there".

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It seems the NDAs did not have the desired effect, as there was no noticeable drop off in leaks in February or March 2017.

"White House lawyers who knowingly participated in a scheme to illegally coerce unrepresented non lawyer employees & deprive them of First Amendment and other rights could be subject to bar discipline for violating ethics rules-and maybe even lose their licenses", Eisen tweeted.

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