President Donald Trump said he spoke to his former White House assistant Madeleine Westerhout, who resigned abruptly on Thursday after White House staff became aware of embarrassing comments she made to reporters.
Trump told reporters that he found the comments “a little bit hurtful” but also noted that they were “off the record.”
“I love Tiffany,” he said to reporters as he left the White House for Camp David.
Politico reported that Westerhout made the comments at an off-the-record dinner with reporters during Trump’s vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.
Trump said that Westerhout had been drinking during the dinner.
She reportedly bragged that she had a better relationship with Trump than his own daughters and that the president did not like to be photographed with his daughter Tiffany because she was perceived to be overweight.
Westerhout resigned suddenly on Thursday.
Trump said that he would speak with his daughter on the phone when he arrived at the presidential retreat. Tiffany is currently studying at Georgetown University Law Center.
“It’s absolutely false,” he said. “She’s a wonderful person and she studies hard.”
Trump ally Arthur Schwartz accused Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker of breaking the off-the-record rule with Westerhout, citing other reporters as a source. In response, the Washington Post said Rucker was “one of the best and most scrupulous reporters” but did not specifically deny the accusation.
“This was an off-the-record dinner and the media blatantly violated that agreement,” an administration official told Politico.