Still, on Saturday, Trump called his former assistant “a very good person” while also reaffirming his love for his daughter in a tweet.
Westerhout was forced to resign as executive assistant to the President on Thursday after Trump learned she had shared information with reporters at a recent off-the-record meeting, during which she didn’t say her comments were off the record, according to sources familiar with her departure. A reporter divulged details about the dinner to White House staff, the people said.
Some current and former officials questioned whether deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, who invited Westerhout to the dinner, should have left her alone for 45 minutes to do a media appearance. Others say the onus is on Westerhout for making those comments and on the media for breaking off-the-record protocol. “Lots of blame to shoulder here,” one source said.
A source close to Gidley said he bears no responsibility for what happened and that the responsibility falls solely on Westerhout and the media for breaking the ground rules in the exchange. CNN has reached out to Gidley for comment.
Trump on Friday 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.”
CNN’s Betsy Klein, Kaitlan Collins, Jim Acosta and Noah Gray contributed to this report