Madeleine Westerhout, Trump’s personal assistant resigned on Thursday, after coming under scrutiny for sharing private details about the president’s family with reporters, two people familiar with her exit said.
Madeleine Westerhout, who was Trump’s personal assistant resigned after Trump was made aware she shared details about the Trump family and the Oval Office actions she took part into reporters at an off-the-record dinner, while the president was on a working vacation.
In the past six months, Westerhout had tried to develop the boundaries of her job to encompass a broader set of tasks and to include foreign travel, said one adviser close to the White House, who advised Westerhout had tried to move like a de facto chief of staff.
This bothered several White House members and Cabinet secretaries who believed she should stick to her main job of working as the president’s personal secretary with a desk just outside the Oval Office.
The breach of trust meant quick action: Westerhout, one of the people familiar with her departure said, was now considered a “separated employee” and would not be permitted to return to the White House on Friday.
To survive in the Trump world, you need to know your limits and not go near forbidden areas. The family is one of those banned areas.
Westerhout, 29, had worked for the RNC (Republican National Committee) as an assistant to Chief of Staff Katie Walsh and the transition team before becoming a close aide to the president. She was usually seen on camera dating visitors through the Trump Tower lobby during the development.
From the beginning, Westerhout was seen by some as an embodiment of the infighting between those who came to the Trump White House from the RNC and those who came from the campaign. The White House had no comment.
The date was not the first time she has been gossiping with journalists present. At a farewell event for former press secretary Sarah Sanders, Westerhout bragged about her guard status. Current and former White House officials found her to be a divisive personality. He doubted she was disloyal to the president.
Westerhout didn’t quickly respond to a call for comment.
The White House was buzzing for most of the day on Thursday about her potential departure — mainly after officials discovered that she had visited reporters in Bedminster, N.J., where she was said to have shared overly personal details about the president’s life.
Many Trump 2016 campaign officials had always been suspicious of Westerhout. She joined the Trump transition from the Republican National Committee and was not an initial Trump loyalist.
Her power in the White House also came almost entirely from closeness. She is not a name-brand White House aide. She has never seen on TV except it was an unexpected shot of her hovering behind her boss. But while she was not a decision-maker, she enjoyed unique access to Donald Trump.
She often shared snapshots on her private Instagram account of her life in the West Wing, including travel to rallies and Trump properties too, and in one post she joked that she had been responsible for printing out a piece of paper that Mr. Trump held up and referred to at a public event.
Politico reporter Tim Alberta wrote in his book “American Carnage” that Westerhout was “inconsolable” and seen crying on election night once it became clear Trump would beat Hillary Clinton.
Westerhout was earning $130,000 a year as both the “executive assistant to the president and special assistant to the president,”
“Did you talk to Madeleine?” Trump asked Woodward, according to the Post’s transcript of the August 2018 conversation between the two, to which the reporter answered no. “Madeleine is the key,” he remarked. “She’s the secret.”
Trump’s inner circle is even smaller now. There are very few people who joined him at the start of his administration still lurking around the White House, and that’s going to be a dilemma for the president in his 2020 re-election bid.
To stay powerful, he’s going to need people he believes, and that number is dwindling as the months go by.
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