No president likes leakers. Bush and Obama were famously very tough on leakers and their suspected allies.
Obama even went after some media members, as did the Bush administration. Trump is equally concerned with stopping leaks and he just plugged a big one.
Madeleine Westerhout was Trump’s personal assistant – her desk was right outside Trump’s.
She came with the Republican National Committee staff – never big fans of Trump and has been there since his first day on the job.
She supposedly leaked some intimate details about Trump’s family and the inner workings of the White House to a bunch of reporters at an off-the-record dinner.
But she didn’t make it clear that her comments were off the record and it looks like a major hit piece is coming soon from someone in the media.
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.
Her ouster 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.
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.
A person familiar with the dinner at the Embassy Suites hotel in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey — where reporters stay during Trump’s visits — said Westerhout and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley attended a dinner alongside several reporters during his most recent trip.
These dinners are common during the President’s trips and are typically treated as off the record, as was this one.
Westerhout’s abrupt departure came as a surprise to her colleagues who had no idea about the matter, several people told CNN. She was seen as someone loyal to Trump and a true believer in his policies, sources said, though it has been reported in two books she was in tears when he won on Election Night.
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.