President Trump confirmed late Friday that his former personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, was ousted from the White House after making disparaging comments about his children during an off-the-record dinner with reporters earlier this month.
“I really think she had a bad night. I think it was unfortunate, she said she was drinking and the whole thing was very unfortunate,” he told reporters, adding that she had made remarks that were “just a little bit hurtful to some people.”
“You don’t say things like she said,” he said, describing her departure as “automatic” after the comments became public knowledge.
Westerhout reportedly claimed she had a better relationship with the president than his two daughters, Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump, during an Aug. 17 dinner with reporters near Bedminster, New Jersey—while Trump was on a working vacation.
Politico reported that the 28-year-old also disparaged Tiffany, claiming Trump didn’t like being photographed with her because he thought she was overweight. She jokingly quipped that the president couldn’t pick Tiffany out in a crowd.
Asked about that claim on Friday, Trump denied it. “Oh no, no. Tiffany is great. I love Tiffany.”
One source told Politico that Westerhout made the remarks in an “uncharacteristically unguarded moment” at the dinner, after having a couple of drinks. Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley also left the dinner before Westerhout made the remarks.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Westerhout also spoke about the Oval Office operations she took part in, in addition to her comments about the family. She was not permitted to come to the White House on Friday.
Westerhout, a former Republican National Committee employee and part of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, reportedly cried on election night in 2016 because of Trump’s victory. However, the Times reports that the White House, Trump rallies, and trips to Trump properties were commonly featured on her private Instagram account.