President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, who’s been with him since the start of his administration, has left the White House, a source familiar with the situation told CNN.
Madeleine Westerhout resigned as executive assistant to the President on Thursday after Trump learned she had shared information with reporters at a recent off-the-record meeting, during which she didn’t say her comments were off-the-record, according to sources familiar with her departure. Westerhout had discussed White House affairs during the session, which a reporter disclosed to White House staff.
A former White House official told CNN that Trump was close with Westerhout — whose office was directly in front of the Oval Office — but discussing personal information about his family was a red line.
The New York Times was the first to report Westerhout’s exit. Citing a source with knowledge of her departure, The Times reported that Westerhout was considered a “separated employee” Thursday and would not be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
Westerhout’s resignation marks yet another departure from an administration beset by a series of exits by high-ranking officials, and it underlines the President’s battle against the extensive leaks out of the White House and his greater campaign against the press.
“There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt!” Trump wrote Wednesday night. When his presidency is “looked back on,” he said, he hopes that a “big part” of his legacy will be “the exposing of massive dishonesty” in the press.
Before joining the Trump administration, Westerhout served as the assistant to Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Katie Walsh, who later became a senior adviser to the Trump transition team.
In this role, Westerhout was frequently seen escorting key members of the Trump’s transition team through the Trump Tower lobby.
“The President-elect wanted to make sure all of his meetings were very transparent, so it became a little bit more public than I originally thought it was going to be,” she told CNN in 2016.
Westerhout was also one of six White House officials found to have violated the Hatch Act in 2018.