WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout has resigned from her job, a White House official and another person familiar with the situation told NBC News late Thursday.
One source said that Westerhout left because she had shared personal information about the president’s family and Oval Office operations at an off-the-record dinner with reporters this month near Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The source described her exit as "abrupt."
Trump spoke about the incident later Friday as he was departing the White House for Camp David and wouldn't say if Westerhout had been fired. The president said he had just spoken with her and she told him that she had been drinking at the dinner.
Trump praised her but said she shouldn't have said "hurtful" things, and he chastised the media for what the president characterized as breaking an agreement that the dinner was off the record.
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"I wished her well," Trump said. "I really think she had a bad night. It was unfortunate."
News of Westerhout's departure was first reported by The New York Times.
Westerhout, whose proximity to Trump made her a de facto White House gatekeeper, has been a fixture since the Trump transition in 2016.
She previously had worked as an aide for the Republican National Committee and for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, and was present during the earliest days of the Trump administration and helped escort people to and from the gilded elevators in Trump Tower during the transition.
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She was one of six administration officials whom a government watchdog agency found, in November 2018, to have violated the Hatch Act after tweeting support for Republicans or Trump on their government Twitter accounts.
The Office of Special Counsel declined to take disciplinary action against Westerhout and the five other administration officials.
Alba and Jackson reported from Washington, and Edelman from New York.