Donald Trump has filed a $10 million arbitration claim against former campaign aide Sam Nunberg, alleging that he leaked confidential information to reporters, violating the nondisclosure agreement he signed. CNN’s Corey Lewandowski has most likely signed a similar agreement, but was still hired by the network.
The Associated Press reported that Trump “requires nearly everyone in his campaign and businesses to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements prohibiting them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information” about him, his companies, or his family.
Nunberg filed a lawsuit denying Trump’s accusation that he leaked a May story to the New York Post about a public quarrel between then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks. In his suit, Nunberg also asserts that the broad nondisclosure agreement violates his free speech rights.
Lewandowski likely signed a similar agreement with Trump, but despite the restrictions such an agreement would impose on his ability to offer opinions and observations on the network, he was still hired by CNN. The move has been widely criticized by observers for its lack of ethical transparency.
Lewandowski's appearances on the network thus far have aligned far more with the actions of a campaign spokesperson than a political observer. He has repeatedly defended Trump in a manner that was described by The Washington Post as someone who “has not yet transitioned out of his role as a Trump employee.”
In a report on the lawsuit on the July 13 edition of CNN Newsroom, reporter M.J. Lee confirmed with Nunberg’s lawyer that the aide had been accused of “violating certain confidentiality provisions by talking about Donald Trump after he was let go from the campaign.” Anchor John Berman noted, “We knew that Trump had confidentiality agreements. We now know that he plans to enforce them via lawsuits.”
CNN’s ethics quandary worsened when it was recently revealed that while in the employ of the network, Lewandowski is “still receiving severance” payments from the Trump campaign. The disclosure was made on-air by CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo. That means Lewandowski is simultaneously collecting payments from Trump and CNN.