Trump, ex-campaign aide settle confidentiality dispute
New York — Donald Trump reached a confidential settlement with a former political consultant he accused of violating a nondisclosure agreement, concluding his latest attempt to use the legal system to enforce the silence of his employees.
Trump launched the legal dispute with Sam Nunberg in late May by seeking $10 million in damages from the former aide in a private arbitration proceeding. Nunberg responded by filing a countersuit in New York state court last month.
On Friday, attorneys on both sides declined to provide further details about the settlement.
“All I can say it that it was amicably resolved, the whole dispute,” said Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization.
Nunberg’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, issued a similar statement in an email to The Associated Press. Nunberg declined to comment on the details of the settlement, saying only that his court case and the arbitration were resolved.
Nunberg served as a consultant to Trump’s campaign until about a year ago when he was fired for racist comments he posted on Facebook.
Trump, who has said he rarely settles lawsuits, has made a point of pursuing legal action to aggressively enforce confidentiality agreements.
The Associated Press reported earlier this year that nearly every Trump employee must sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements. The agreements bar them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information about the real estate mogul, his family or his companies.
A copy of Nunberg’s agreement, which became public as part of a counter lawsuit he filed against Trump, covered all of Trump’s children including his 10-year-old son, Barron.
In Nunberg’s case, Trump accused him of making disparaging comments and leaking confidential information to reporters. Trump made the claims in private arbitration, another common requirement written into his confidentiality agreements that seeks to keep the details of the disputes from a public airing in court.
But in response to Trump’s claims, Nunberg filed a lawsuit in New York state court last month, making the details of the arbitration public. In the lawsuit, Nunberg denied that he had disparaged Trump and accused Trump of trying to bully him into silence him because he chose to support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the GOP primary.
Nunberg said Trump falsely accused him of being the source of a New York Post story that detailed a public spat between former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks. Nunberg referred to the quarrel as evidence of “an apparent affair,” an allegation that Trump’s attorneys have called “categorically untrue.”
Nunberg has been an outspoken critic of Lewandowski, who Trump fired in June.
In a GQ Magazine article earlier this year, Nunberg was quoted as saying he would suck the “blood out of (Lewandowski’s) skull by the time I’m done with him.”