President Donald Trump's administration has been notorious for its apparent inability to keep its officials from leaving their posts. In fact, several of the president's appointees set records for having the shortest tenures in their respective positions. However, President Trump's personal assistant did not succumb to this trend — until now. So who is Madeleine Westerhout? This Trump assistant just left the White House after maintaining her desk outside the Oval Office for the entirety of Trump's presidency.
Westerhout reportedly resigned on Aug. 29, The New York Times reported, but her abrupt departure has nonetheless generated speculation about the circumstances. Citing two unnamed sources, The New York Times reported that Westerhout may have shared personal information about the president and Oval Office operations during an off-the-record dinner with reporters in New Jersey. Westerhout reportedly resigned after Trump learned about her alleged interactions with reporters, per the Times. The White House did not return Elite Daily's request for comment. Elite Daily attempted to reach Westerhout for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
According to CNN, Westerhout was a rare constant in the Trump administration, having seen three chiefs of staff come and go. CNN reported that Westerhout benefited from her proximity to the president, and that reporters and Trump allies alike sought her out for access to the president.
Although Westerhout developed a reputation for loyalty in her time as Trump's executive assistant, she reportedly wasn't always enthusiastic about a Trump presidency. Westerhout, who is 29 years old, was initially upset when Trump won the 2016 election, per the BBC. At the time, she was working for the Republican National Committee (RNC) as an assistant to Katie Walsh, who briefly served as the deputy chief of staff on Trump's transition team. Despite her reported reaction to Trump's victory, however, Westerhout managed to end up in a "gatekeeper" role in his administration and had access to his schedule. An unnamed former administration official reportedly told CBS News that Westerhout was one of the last staffers who came to the Trump administration from the RNC, and that she routinely faced suspicion from other officials who questioned her loyalty.
Originally from California, Westerhout got her start in politics when she interned for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign in college, CNN reported. She received her bachelor's degree in political science from the College of Charleston. After graduating, she went on to work for former South Carolina Sen. John Kuhn and former California Rep. John Campbell — both Republicans — before landing a job at the Republican National Committee. Outside of politics, Westerhout is regularly described as a "former Pure Barre instructor," though she tweeted last year that she only "taught Pure Barre part time for a couple years."
Politico reported on Aug. 29 that Westerhout tried to broaden her job responsibilities in the past six months. An unnamed White House adviser reportedly told Politico that Westerhout wanted to include tasks such as foreign travel in her job description, which would have made her more like a chief of staff than a personal assistant. Despite the scrutiny that Westerhout has faced during her time in the West Wing, however, she has nonetheless been a steadfast presence in an administration that isn't known for its employee retention rate, and it isn't yet known who her replacement will be.
Just another shakeup in the Trump White House, it seems. Good luck to whoever ends up filling Westerhout's desk.