An alleged leaker from inside the West Wing whose desk sat right outside President Donald Trump’s Oval Office was reportedly ousted from her position on Thursday and told never to return to the White House.
Madeleine Westerhout, who had served as the president’s personal assistant since the first day of his administration, was according to the New York Times terminated from her position on Thursday after it was revealed that she allegedly leaked details about Oval Office operations and the first family to media in an off-record dinner in Bedminster, New Jersey, earlier this month.
The New York Times‘ Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman wrote on Thursday evening:
President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sits in front of the Oval Office and who has served as the president’s gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with her exit said. Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation, according to one of the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel issues.
“The breach of trust meant immediate action: Ms. Westerhout, one of the people familiar with her departure said, was immediately considered a “separated employee” and would not be allowed to return to the White House on Friday,” Haberman and Karni added.
Leaks have plagued Trump’s administration since the beginning, with a combination of disloyal political officials and career government officials leaking damaging information against the president to the media in an effort to harm his presidency. Trump has fought back against the leaks repeatedly, and several officials from the White House and throughout government have been terminated after being exposed as leakers.
Westerhout was something of an anomaly in the Trump White House in that she had deep history with establishment Republicans before going to work for the president at the beginning of his administration. She worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now a U.S. Senator from Utah – after he carpet-bagged his way into Utah to run for Senate there instead of in the state where he once served as governor, in the 2012 presidential election – and then later for the Republican National Committee.
Perhaps ironically, given that Westerhout was reportedly terminated for allegedly leaking, she bashed a leak of months-worth of the president’s personal schedule back in February:
What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history. https://t.co/n1HrxmCsiB
— Madeleine Westerhout (@madwest45) February 3, 2019
The leak revealed how Trump structures his day with “executive time,” something many in media used to rip the president for, claiming he is not working as hard as he could for the country.