Serving as the gatekeeper for access to President Donald Trump since the first day he took his seat in the White House, personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout abruptly resigned Thursday after she reportedly told the press a few things she shouldn't have.
On Thursday evening, The New York Times reported the surprising news, citing "two people familiar with her exit."
The newspaper said that her departure came in the midst of Trump learning that she revealed details about the president's family, along with information about White House operations in an off-the-record night-out with reporters. The conversations were allegedly held during one of Trump's working vacations, in hotels near one of the president's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to The Hill.
Apparently, upon the president learning of the leaks, Westerhout was labeled as a "separated employee," which means she will not be reporting for duty at the White House on Friday morning as usual.
As Politico reported, Westerhout recently began expanding the duties of her position to include foreign travel and other tasks that a person in her position typically wouldn't perform. An adviser close to the White House reportedly suggested that by doing that, she tried to act like a de facto chief of staff.
Her ambitions apparently rubbed others in the White House the wrong way, including other officials and cabinet staff, who reportedly felt like Westerhout would be better served by sticking to her primary role as the president's personal secretary.
The White House adviser Politico cited reportedly called the revelations of her alleged leaking to the press "the final straw," especially for someone who was apparently short on friends in the White House.Politico also suggested that Westerhout wasn't exactly the most popular employee in the White House, as she joined Trump's team in 2016 from the Republican National Committee and was not an "original Trump loyalist."
The social media world was abuzz after news of Westerhout's sudden departure hit the headlines. Pundits have already begun speculating on potential deeper reasons why she might have left so quickly and what it might mean down the road.
Writer David Beard suggested in a tweet that Westerhout "knows Trump's secrets."
"He dumped her suddenly, after she had an off-the-record chat with reporters."The Trump White House has had numerous issues with information leaks since the president took office and in the past, they have insisted that stronger measures would be taken to plug future leaks.
As of this writing, The New York Times reported that Westerhout hadn't yet responded for comment on the developing situation.