Online volunteers seeking to help Donald Trump by making phone calls might be signing up for more than they bargained for.
To sign up on Trump's website, potential volunteers must agree to a 2,271-word non-disclosure agreement in which they also promise they won't compete against or say anything bad about Trump, his company, his family members or products – now and forever.
The agreement is a required part of the sign-up process for Trump Red Dialer, an online call system that connects volunteers for the Republican presidential candidate with potential voters.
Earlier this year, volunteers for Trump in New York had to sign non-disclosure agreements in person before making phone calls at Trump Tower. But the website requirement is the first indication that online volunteers must also sign the form, even if they'll never meet a Trump family member, attend a Trump rally, meet a campaign staffer in person or step inside a Trump campaign office.
The agreement defines Trump's family as "Mr. Trump's spouse" and then individually names his children, including his 10-year-old son Barron, while generally referencing Trump's siblings and nieces and nephews, as well as his children's spouses and children.
The agreement does state volunteers can campaign for other candidates after the election is over. No such deadline applies to the non-disparagement provisions.
The agreement seems very similar or identical to a Trump non-disclosure agreement described by the Associated Press in June. Trump is known for requiring those in his businesses and campaign to sign the agreements, up to and including senior advisers. He has sued associates over similar contracts, including his ex-wife Ivana in 1992. He settled with her a year later.
But requiring an online volunteer to sign such a document is a requirement unique to the Trump campaign. The campaign website for his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, requires no agreement for online volunteers to sign up and make phone calls.
“It’s not a typical procedure," said Matt Moore, chairman of the GOP in South Carolina, where campaigns had volunteers making similar calls from their homes ahead of the primary in February. Moore also oversees phone bank operations as the state seeks to elect its candidates in legislative races.
Phone calls are a common tool to persuade voters and to encourage supporters to get out and vote. While presidential campaigns still have volunteers meet at phone bank locations, both the Clinton and now Trump campaign have an online dialer system to which volunteers can get call information and scripts to read to so they can make calls from anywhere.
“We’re most concerned about private information not being shared publicly and maintaining database security, so we do at times require volunteers or volunteer leaders to sign agreements to that effect," said Moore. But nothing like the non-disparagement clause.
“With the hack at the DNC, we have stepped up our game considerably," he said.
The Enquirer noticed the requirement after the call website was promoted to Ohio volunteers via a Tuesday afternoon campaign email.
Trump plans to speak at the American Legion convention in Cincinnati Wednesday morning and later travel to a rally in Wilmington. Clinton is beating Trump in swing state Ohio by 3.8 points in the latest Real Clear Politics aggregate of recent polls, 44.8 to 41 percent.
When asked about the necessity of the non-disclosure agreement for online volunteers, Trump Ohio campaign spokesman Seth Unger said: "We are running a state-of-the-art campaign for Mr. Trump that involves best-in-market volunteer platforms, and it is attracting thousands of volunteers who are tired of the same old Washington corruption and back room deals and are securing votes for a change in November."
Moore said he hasn't heard any complaints about the non-discrimination agreement from state GOP chairs elsewhere in the country.
“Donald Trump supporters are very passionate. I don’t imagine that it would discourage them, much if any at all," he said.
Enquirer Capitol Bureau Chief Chrissie Thompson contributed to this article.
TRUMP VISITING THURSDAY
Donald Trump is scheduled to speak to the American Legion convention in downtown Cincinnati Thursday morning. He will also hold a noon rally in Wilmington. Stay with Cincinnati.com for live coverage and analysis.