Aug 30, 2019

Trump personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout abruptly resigns

Photo: Getty Images

President Trump's longtime personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout suddenly resigned on Thursday, 2 people familiar with her departure told the New York Times.

Catch up quick: Westerhout's resignation came 2 weeks after she told reporters at an off-the-record dinner about "Trump’s eating habits, his youngest son, Barron Trump, and his thoughts about the weight and appearance of his daughter Tiffany Trump," the NYT reports, citing current and former administration officials who were told what happened.

  • "The breach of trust meant immediate action," the NYT reports, adding Westerhout, who has been with Trump since the first day of his presidency, was immediately deemed a "separated employee."
  • Trump, reportedly "ambivalent" to rumors in the White House following the dinner, "had to be persuaded" on Thursday that Westerhout needed to resign, which she did later that night, per the Times.

The bottom line: Westerhout "was not thought to have signed a nondisclosure agreement," the NYT reports — unlike most of the Trump administration's other officials.

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.