Trump told reporters before departing for Camp David on Friday that Westerhout had “mentioned a couple of things about my children” at the dinner.
Trump praised her as “a very good person and I thought, I always felt she did a good job.”
He said Westerhout had called him to discuss the dinner. She said she had been “drinking a little bit,” Trump said.
Trump noted that the dinner was off the record, but he said, “Nevertheless, you don’t say things. You don’t say certain things, so it was too bad.”
He added that they had spoken just before he came out to meet the press and he had “wished her well.”
Westerhout’s departure comes as unwelcome news to Trump’s allies outside the West Wing. She was a constant who outlasted three chiefs of staff, and was a reliable person to call if someone needed to meet with the President.
She also carried immense weight in the West Wing. If reporters wanted to request an interview with the President, they often went around former press secretary Sarah Sanders and called Westerhout.
But her closeness also carried with it some concerns. Westerhout was one of few aides who had access to the President’s highly sensitive schedule, prompting some internal paranoia when details of meetings with few aides leaked to reporters.
She will perhaps be remembered for her loyalty — one of the few remaining original staffers to survive the chaos of the early days of the administration and known as a true believer in Trump’s policies. But in the end, it was an act of disloyalty that undid her.
Who was Trump’s trusted aide?
It was reported in two books that she was in tears when Trump won on Election Night. In the weeks that followed, she unintentionally became one of the most visible — if silent — members of the transition team thanks to her role escorting VIPs, potential administration officials, and even Leonardo DiCaprio through the Trump Tower lobby. She became publicly known as “elevator girl” or “Trump Tower girl,” quietly whisking the then-President-elect’s guests up the golden elevators.
She said she got calls from family and friends who saw her on television “all the time,” and there was some added pressure to be camera-ready.
“(I) definitely have to plan my outfits in advance, and we’re staying at a hotel in New York so I have to pack well in advance,” she told CNN.
Westerhout was also one of six White House officials found to have violated the Hatch Act in 2018.
It’s unclear what’s next for Westerhout, and her abrupt exit is a disappointment and shock for those who worked with her.