Stop The Lies: Trump’s NDAs Are Not Normal

Right after Sarah Sanders told her massive whopper of a lie about the Obama jobs for African Americans, she casually lied again – this time she claimed it was “common” for employees to sign NDAs, including in government, “particularly anyone with a security clearance.”

From Tuesday’s briefing:

Q And then, have you signed an NDA?

MS. SANDERS: I’m not going to get into the back-and-forth on who has signed an NDA here at the White House. I can tell you that it’s common in a lot of places for employees to sign NDAs, including in government, particularly anyone with a security clearance.

This is not true. An NDA is first of all not binding when it was done by a private company for a federal employee, but also, NDAs are not required nor should they be in a democratic government. They were not used by Obama, or Bush 43, or Clinton. So that would be a “NO” they are not “common.”

Two days ago when Kellyanne Conway was spinning her alternative facts about NDAs, Chris Lu tried to set the record straight. There are restrictions on classified information, he explained. But a president is supposed to care about transparency and the First Amendment, and so no, there are not NDAs:

These lies are non-stop for a reason. The Trump administration is conspiring to keep the American public in the dark about their activities, so telling the public that NDAs are common is necessary. Common means “occurring, found, or done often; prevalent.”

How can NDAs be common when they were not done in the last 8 years under Obama, the last 8 years under Bush, and the last 8 years before that under Clinton? What is this “common” to which she refers?

Here is Norm Eisen on CNN explaining that Trump’s NDA are not normal and unconstitutional:

They are not common. They are not acceptable in a democracy that depends on sunlight. Only a dictator demands silence. Trump could try behaving in a way that would not require NDAs of his federal employees, but of course, behaving like a decent person isn’t an option — but silencing federal employees who are accountable to the people, not him, is.