On Thursday, Donald Trump apparently fired his personal assistant, Madeline Westerhout, after she allegedly revealed intimate details about Trump's personal and family life to reporters during what was supposed to be an off-the-record dinner, according to a New York Times report. But the details that Westerhout leaked were never published — until Friday.
Politico reported that during the dinner on August 17 at an Embassy Suites hotel restaurant in Bedminster, New Jersey, site of a Trump-owned golf resort where the president was staying at the time, Westerhout made the comments. In an "unguarded" moment, she bragged to reporters that she enjoyed a better relationship with Trump than his own daughter, Tiffany Trump.
Westerhout also told the group of reporters — which included Philip Rucker of The Washington Post, Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News, Reuters correspondent Steve Holland, and Wall Street Journal reporter Andrew Restuccia — that Trump considered his 25-year-old second daughter to be overweight, and as a result, he avoided being photographed with her.
She also joked that Trump was so uninterested in his daughter by second wife Marla Maples that he "couldn't pick Tiffany out of a crowd," according to the Politico account, based on information from "two people familiar with the matter."
One of the reporters at the dinner told members the White House staff what Westerhout had said. When the information got back to Trump, he forced Westerhout to resign her position, according to a CNN report. The White House described Westerhout not as having been fired, but as a "separated employee."
A friend of Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., claimed that it was Rucker who "burned" Westerhout by revealing what she had said at the dinner. But Rucker referred Politico to his bosses at The Washington Post, who issued a statement saying that Rucker, "is one of the best and most scrupulous reporters in the news business," and that he "has always acted with the utmost honor and integrity and has never violated Washington Post standards or policies."
Trump, in an impromptu exchange with reporters on Friday afternoon, denied the allegations about his view of his daughter, according to quotes posted via Twitter by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar, calling the claims reportedly made by Westerhout "absolutely false."
"She's a wonderful person," Trump said of his daughter Tiffany. "She studies so hard. She's a great student. And she's a great person." Trump added that he planned to speak to Tiffany Trump by phone when he reached Camp David later on Friday.