And why wouldn’t we?

The Post on Trump’s NDAs.

When you make a reality TV star the president, you’re going to get a reality show White House. And when that reality TV star is Donald Trump, the reality show will have a particular character, one in which amid all the chaos and backstabbing is a cult of personality that takes precedence over any conception of public service or public good.

It’s too bad it’s that reality show, too. If it had been a cooking show we could have had Lidia Bastianich as Secretary of State.

But about this Omarosa book.

While much of the attention is focused on all the interpersonal nastiness and allegations of things such as the president being on tape using the n-word (would anyone be surprised?), I’d like to focus on one thing Omarosa has brought to light that isn’t in dispute.

Among her charges are that she was asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement and offered a $15,000-a-month “job” after she left the White House in order to keep her in line. As she said yesterday on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” “In fact, there are several former employees from the White House who actually signed this agreement, who are all being paid $15,000 for their silence.”

Of our money, presumably.

So far, the White House has not denied this claim. In fact, on ABC News’s “This Week,” Kellyanne Conway said, “We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do. And — and why wouldn’t we?”

Oh my. Because you’re supposed to be accountable to the people, that’s why. This isn’t a contest where you won (by cheating) the right to scam us and keep us in the dark as much as you possibly could. This is the damn government.

There are a number of reasons, but the question that needs to be answered is what exactly those confidentiality agreements entail. Because they are absolutely not standard practice in the White House. Employees who deal with classified information may have to sign an agreement pledging not to reveal that information, but it sounds as though the White House is requiring broader agreements from its employees, which would put us in new territory. One critical question is whether the agreements signed by White House staff include non-disparagement clauses, which would be not just unprecedented but also shocking.

If anybody in the world needs disparagement it’s Donald Trump.

Remember: Throughout his career, Trump required his employees to sign nondisclosure agreements that not only stopped them from revealing what they had seen but also forbade them from ever saying anything uncomplimentary about Trump, his family, his company or his products. This then carried over into his presidential campaign, which required even volunteers to pledge not to disparage Trump for the rest of their lives.

Trump is horrible, his family is awful, his company sucks, his products are shit. Ah, freedom.

The document Omarosa made public (which is an agreement not with the government but with the Trump reelection campaign) contained this clause, using almost identical language as the document people on the campaign signed:

During the term of your service, and at all times thereafter, you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly, in any form or through any medium, the Campaign, Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence, any Trump or Pence Company, any Trump or Pence Family Member, or any Trump or Pence Family Member Company or any asset any of the foregoing own, or product or service any of the foregoing offer, in each case by or in any of the Restricted Means and Contexts.

We don’t know whether the Trump White House NDAs include such a clause, but if they do, it’s quite frankly appalling.

But not surprising. Trump has a psychopathic-level immunity to shame.

So what does this tell us about the Trump presidency? It’s important to understand that even though the president hires and fires White House employees, they don’t work for the president; they work for the United States of America. Yet it’s clear that when you work for Trump, you’re expected to hold the aggrandizement of Trump as your highest and most important goal.

It’s a little known fact that the entire universe came into existence solely to produce Donald Trump.

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