Trump Says Personal Assistant ‘Apologized’ for Her Comments About His Family and He ‘Forgave Her’
President Donald Trump called his former personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout a “good person” on Aug. 31, and said she called him to apologize and that he’s forgiven her.
In an unexpected move, 28-year-old Westerhout, who was the president’s longtime personal assistant, resigned on Aug. 29 after Trump found out that she shared details about his family and about Oval Office operations to journalists at an off-the-record dinner that took place near Bedminster, New Jersey, while Trump was on a working vacation on Aug. 17.
“While Madeleine Westerhout has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her! I love Tiffany, doing great!” the President said on Twitter.
While Madeleine Westerhout has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her! I love Tiffany, doing great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019
On Aug. 30, before leaving for Camp David, Trump had called the abrupt departure of Westerhout an “unfortunate” episode and said her comments about his family were a “little bit hurtful.” He also criticized the press for being “dishonest” and making Westerhout’s off-the-record comments public.
Talking with reporters, Trump said: “I think it was automatic. I don’t say fire or not fire. I think she had a bad night. I think it was unfortunate. She said she was drinking.
“The whole thing was very unfortunate. I think the press is very dishonest because it’s supposed to be off the record. But still, you don’t say things like she said, which were just a little bit hurtful.”
Westerhout’s Twitter profile still mentions her connection to the White House as “@WhiteHouse SAP & Director of Oval Office Operations” and her last two messages on Twitter are about Trump—one a retweet and another a birthday wish for the president.
Happy Birthday, Mr. President! @realDonaldTrump 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ozlUYOOmNj
— Madeleine Westerhout (@madwest45) June 14, 2019
Trump had told reporters on Aug. 30 that Westerhout called him and she was upset. “She was very down,” Trump said.
“She said she was drinking a little bit. She was with reporters, and everything she said was off the record. That still doesn’t really cover for it. Mentioned a couple of things about my children, but she is a very good person and I always felt she did a good job. In all fairness, it was off the record … but nevertheless, you don’t say certain things. It was too bad. I just spoke to her … and I wished her well.”
When asked if Westerhout’s derogatory comments about the president’s daughter Tiffany were correct, Trump said: “Oh no. Tiffany is great. I love Tiffany.”
Trump said Tiffany is “wonderful person” and Westerhout’s comments about her are “absolutely false.” He told reporters he would talk to Tiffany after he reaches Camp David.
“She’s studied so hard, she’s a great student and she’s a great person … I love Tiffany, she’s a great person,” Trump said.
According to Tiffany Trump’s Instagram profile, she’s a student at Georgetown University Law School.
Tiffany’s most recent post on Instagram about Trump is her wishes for him on Father’s Day. “Happy Father’s Day @realdonaldtrump I love you and I’m so blessed to have you as my father. Thank you for your love and guidance #happyfathersday”
Who Leaked the Off-the-Record Conversations?
Earlier in a message on Twitter, Arthur Schwartz, whom Breitbart describes as a Republican strategist, disclosed that The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Philip Rucker leaked Westerhout’s off-the-record conversations to reporters.
“I’ve heard from two reporters that @PhilipRucker is the one that burned Madeleine Westerhout. A couple of people in the WH told me the same,” he wrote.
I’ve heard from two reporters that @PhilipRucker is the one that burned Madeleine Westerhout. A couple of people in the WH told me the same.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019
In a series of messages on Twitter, Schwartz questioned the breach of journalistic ethics. “Rucker did some serious damage to his profession—none of these people can be trusted. I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame POTUS for this,” he wrote.
This text was not from Rucker. It was from a reporter at another outlet reaching out about something completely unrelated to politics. Rucker did some serious damage to his profession — none of these people can be trusted. I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame POTUS for this.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019
Schwartz also criticized The Washington Post’s silence on the issue. He said: “Has @PhilipRucker denied it? WaPo can mumble through their ‘he never violated our standards or policies’ [expletive] excuse all they want.
“Was it off the record? Yes. Did he repeat it to someone else? Yes. That’s all you need to know about WaPo’s standards and policies.”