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Omarosa Manigault Newman is going after President Donald Trump and his administration with a book entitled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House” set to be released on Aug. 14.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on Sunday said the White House “absolutely” has staffers sign confidentiality agreements like the one rejected by former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman before she wrote a scathing tell-all book.

“We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And why wouldn’t we?”

Manigault Newman said that after she was fired in December, she was offered a post in the Trump campaign with a $15,000 a month salary and the nondisclosure agreement, which would have barred her from disparaging Trump.

Conway, who is counselor to the president, said such arrangements are not unusual for departing White House staff and she, too, and other current staff also have signed them.

“We’ve all signed them in the West Wing,” she said.

The issue of public employees – in particular White House employees in the Trump administration – signing nondisclosure agreements first arose in March, when The Washington Post obtained a draft agreement intended for senior White House staff.  

The agreement said violators could be penalized as much as $10 million for unauthorized disclosure of “confidential” information, defined as “all nonpublic information I learn of or gain access to in the course of my official duties in the service of the United States Government on White House staff.”

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Experts have said the agreements are not enforceable. Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told USA TODAY in March that “Public employees can’t be gagged by private agreements” and contended they are “unconstitutional.”

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