Conflicting reports have emerged about the job status of a woman previously working in Donald Trump’s inner circle, with one media outlet saying she had left her position at the White House after revealing information about the US President’s family.
The New York Times first reported that Madeleine Westerhout’s departure came on Thursday (local time) after Mr Trump learned that she had revealed details about his family to the media during a dinner.
Ms Westerhout, Donald Trump’s longtime personal assistant, had reportedly been drinking and bragging at an off-the-record dinner with reporters during Mr Trump’s holiday in New Jersey.
The 28-year-old had been a part of the Trump administration since the beginning and had a White House office directly in front of the Oval Office in the West Wing.
Often referred to by US media as the gatekeeper to the President, Ms Westerhout was initially viewed with distrust by Mr Trump, according to the Times.
She was a former Republican National Committee aide who worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and reportedly cried on election night when Mr Trump won.
However, senior officials hoped that Ms Westerhout could be an ally and help manage Oval Office traffic, according to the Times.
Mr Trump alluded to her importance while on a phone call with journalist Bob Woodward in September 2018, telling him that she was the key after Mr Woodward complained his interview requests had not been passed on, according to the Washington Post.
“Did you speak to Madeleine?’ Mr Trump asked. Woodward said he had not.
“Madeleine is the key,” Mr Trump said. “She’s the secret.”
The Times cited a source familiar with the situation who said that Ms Westerhout was now considered a “separate employee” at the White House and would not be allowed to return there on Friday (local time).
Mr Trump told reporters that the situation was “unfortunate” and that Ms Westerhout was a “good person”, according to CBS News.