Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report

Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE sought to block White House staffers from writing tell-all books upon their departure by making them sign restrictive non-disclosure agreements, Politico reported Monday.

The news outlet reported that the non-disclosure agreements include a clause that prohibited administration officials from disclosing confidential information in any way, including books, unless they first received permission from Trump.

If an individual violated the non-disclosure agreement, the document required they give all royalties and book earnings to the U.S. government.


The use of non-disclosure agreements within Trump's White House has come to the forefront amid a publicity tour by former aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanSales of political books up 25 percent in 2018: report Woodward book breaks 93-year publishing record Stormy Daniels announces new tell-all book: 'Full Disclosure' MORE to promote her book, "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House."

Manigault Newman, who rose to fame on "The Apprentice" and was fired from the White House in December, makes a number of shocking claims in the book, some of which are unsourced. 

She writes that Trump repeatedly used the "n-word" on the set of "The Apprentice" and alleges he is a racist, misogynist and narcissist.

Trump lashed out at Manigault Newman earlier Monday, labeling her "wacky Omarosa" and claiming she "already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!" It's unclear if the president was referring to Manigault Newman's time in the West Wing, her work on the campaign or something else.

Manigault Newman said Monday night on MSNBC's "Hardball" that White House officials presented her with a non-disclosure agreement, but that she did not sign it. She added that Trump thought the agreements would suppress leaks.

A Washington Post columnist reported earlier this year that senior staffers in Trump's White House were required to sign non-disclosure agreements, a move that many deemed unprecedented and unenforceable for public employees.

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Conway to CNN's Cuomo in heated debate: 'I'll walk away' if you continue to interrupt me On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE confirmed the existence of the agreements during an appearance on ABC's "This Week."

"We’ve all signed them in the West Wing," she said. "We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do.  And why wouldn’t we?"

She went on to argue that confidentiality "is implied" when working in the White House, and that the president should have an expectation of privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement on Monday after Trump tweeted about Manigault Newman blasting the use of non-disclosure agreements for public employees.

“Donald Trump cannot muzzle federal employees," attorney Brian Hauss said. "If such NDAs prohibit employees from revealing all information they learn of at work, without consideration of what the information is, they are unconstitutional and unenforceable."