By Ariel Scotti / February 21, 2019

Trump White House Forcing Interns to Sign NDAs

Interns could face "financial ruin" if they're connected to a leak.

White House interns
White House interns allegedly have to sign NDAs that they're not allowed to keep. (Getty Images)

Both a representative from the White House counsel’s office and the director of the internship program warned young officials against breaking the non-disclosure agreements they were forced to sign — or face legal and financial troubles.

This urging to not end up a “leaker,” one of the many insiders who share information with the media, is standard procedure for anyone working in the White House or the administration, The Daily Beast reported.

The interns weren’t allowed to keep a copy of their signed NDAs, which were billed as part of their “ethics training.”

The act of compelling interns to sign these types of NDAs would seem, according to the Beast, “odd…to veterans of other administrations.” The agreements are also unlikely truly legally binding and would have a difficult time being upheld in court.

“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,” Ned Price, who served as a spokesman for the Obama National Security Council, told the news site. “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.”

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