An aide and top gatekeeper to President Trump has resigned from her position at the White House after reportedly being caught leaking to the press, Bloomberg and the New York Times reported late Thursday.
Madeleine Westerhout, the now-former special assistant to the president and director of Oval Office operations, had worked for the president since the transition. But she shared details about Trump, his family and his time in the White House during an off-the-record chat with reporters.
Once her actions had been discovered, the administration decided that “immediate termination” was the only worthwhile punishment for leaking. She would not be returning to work on Friday.
The White House didn’t immediately have a comment on her departure.
Westerhout served as a critical gatekeeper for the president. Her office sat literally in front of the Oval Office.
Many former Trump staffers tried to turn Westerhout into an ally because of her ability to control access to the Oval. These included former Chief of Staff John Kelly. But, per the NYT, her authority in the West Wing came almost entirely from her physical proximity to the president, since she was not a “name brand” aide.
She also regularly shared snapshots from the West Wing on her private Instagram account, and once joked that she had been responsible for printing a piece of paper that Trump had held up at a public event.