Donald Trump’s gatekeeper Madeleine Westerhout, who told reporters during an off-the-record dinner that the president thought his daughter Tiffany was overweight, also spoke to them about his 13-year-old son Barron.
Westerhout resigned from the White House on Thursday, more than a week after the dinner took place.
After details about what she had said came to light, Trump said that he he loves his daughter Tiffany.
Speaking on the White House South Lawn before flying to Camp David for the weekend, the president said the claim was ‘absolutely false.’ He praised Tiffany as a ‘great person,’ saying he planned to speak to her later and called what was said ‘hurtful.’
And he said Westerhout had called him to say she had been drinking when she spoke to White House correspondents at an ‘off the record’ dinner.
At the dinner, Westerhout reportedly also spoke about Trump’s youngest son Barron and his eating habits, according to The New York Times.
She also reportedly told journalists that she had a better relationship with Trump than his daughters, Tiffany and Ivanka.
Westerhout was dramatically removed late Thursday as Oval Office gatekeeper for Trump after spilling inside information about the president’s daughters and Barron.
She aired her claims about the president’s family over drinks with members of the media who Trump regularly lambastes as the ‘fake news,’ Politico revealed.
Among one stunning family disclosure, Westerhout reportedly blabbed that Trump does not like to be photographed with Tiffany because she is overweight. That information could not be immediately verified.
‘I love Tiffany.’ Trump spoke of his affection for his second daughter as it was revealed his personal assistant was fired for telling reporters he thought Tiffany was overweight
Public affection: Donald Trump said he was going to be speaking to Tiffany as soon as he landed at Camp David and had already spoken to Madeleine Westerhout
Firing: Donald Trump fired personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout (right) because she told reporters he thinks his daughter Tiffany is overweight and does not want to be photographed with her
She also was reported to have said that Trump could not pick his younger daughter out of a crowd.
But Trump called the situation ‘unfortunate,’ and said Westerhout, 28, had called him to apologize.
Asked by DailyMail.com if he had spoken to his daughter since the astonishing claims surfaced about how he views her, he said: ‘We have a call in, she’s going to be calling me back as soon as we get to Camp David.’
When DailyMail.com asked what he would tell Tiffany, he said: ‘I’m going to say it’s just absolutely false.
‘She’s a wonderful person. She’s studied so hard, she’s a great student, and she’s such a great – a great person.
‘So I look forward to talking to her. I’ll be talking to her as soon as I get – and I love Tiffany. Tiffany’s a great person.’
He also said he had spoken to Westerhout who, according to the book ‘American Carnage’ by Tim Alberta, he was fond of referring to as ‘my beautiful beauty.’
‘I really think she had a bad night,’ he said.
‘She said she was drinking. And the whole thing was very unfortunate, and I think the press is very dishonest, because it was supposed to be off the record.
‘But still you don’t say things like she said, which were just a little bit hurtful to some people.’
Asked if it was true that he did not want to be seen with Tiffany, he said: ‘Tiffany is great. I love Tiffany. I love Tiffany.’
He later added of Westerhout: ‘She’s a very good person and I always thought she did a very good job.’
He added: ‘Of course the press breaks “off the record” all the time.’
Younger daughter: Tiffany Trump, 26, is Donald Trump’s second daughter from his marriage to Marla Maples, with whom she was spending time in New York this week
First daughter: Tiffany Trump was last seen stepping out in New York this week. The president’s younger daughter is studying law at Georgetown University School of Law
Family together: Donald Trump took his younger daughter Tiffany to church for Easter service in Palm Beach,with her stepmother Melania
Elder daughter: Madeleine Westerhout is reported to have bragged that she was closer to Trump than both Tiffany and Ivanka, who was seen leaving home in Washington D.C. on Thursday
Westerhout’s disgrace had begun on Thursday night when the New York Times first reported her ‘abrupt and unexpected’ departure and said it followed an off-the record dinner with reporters in New Jersey while the president was vacationing at his Bedminster golf club.
Senior staffers sometimes dine with reporters in such off-the-record sessions when the president travels, with the understanding that what is said is never to be published.
The after-hours confab that reportedly got Westerhout booted has been revealed to include White House correspondents from The Washington Post, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, according to Politico.
They are among the outlets that send reporters to travel most regularly with the president.
The dinner was at Grain & Cane, a restaurant in the Embassy Suites hotel in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, close to the Bedminster resort.
Drinks there start at $7 for domestic beers and $12 for cava, while cocktails are $11.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley was traveling with the press corps at the time, and was at the August 17 evening encounter.
The offending comments happened after Gidley had left the group to conduct a TV interview, according to the Politico account.
The comments made their way back to the White House, prompting Westerhout’s ouster.
That aged well: What Westerhout said about another leak earlier this year
Inner circle: Westerhout left, with former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders) had unprecedented access to the president and served as his gatekeeper – but now joins a long list of departures
Not there for the bombshells: Hogan Gidley, the White House deputy press secretary, was at the dinner with reporters but left, and it is reported that Westerhout then spoke about the president’s family
The revelation of what Westerhout told reporters was seized on by Trump allies to further his war with the mainstream media.
Arthur Schwartz, who fields inquiries on behalf of the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, tore into Washington Post journalist Phil Rucker Friday and pegged him as having violated an off-the-record agreement at the dinner, which his employer denied.
‘So @PhilipRucker violated an off the record agreement over this? Absolutely p**s poor judgement,’ he tweeted.
Schwartz sent out a text he purportedly received from another reporter asking him if he had a few minutes to talk ‘off the record.’
‘This text was not from Rucker. It was from a reporter at another outlet reaching out about something completely unrelated to politics,’ Schwartz wrote.
‘Rucker did some serious damage to his profession — none of these people can be trusted. I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame POTUS for this,’ using an acronym for the president.
The newspaper’s national editor Steven Ginsburg defended the correspondent, who regularly speaks to Trump while covering the White House beat.
He called him ‘one of the best and most scrupulous reporters in the news business,’ adding: ‘He has always acted with the utmost honor and integrity and has never violated Washington Post standards or policies.’
Westerhout had unprecedented access to Trump and served as his gatekeeper.
In February, when Trump’s personal schedule was leaked, she took to Twitter to call it a ‘disgraceful breach of trust’.
Gaffe venue: The Grain & Cane restaurant is inside the Embassy Suites in Berkeley, N.J. The wine list starts at $12 for cava, $7 for bottled beers including Bud Light and Budweiser, and cocktails start at $11 for a bourbon milk punch
Apt advice: Madeleine Westerhout spilled the Trump family secrets over drinks at Grain & Cane which offers witty sayings on a board above the bar
At the time Westerhout, who was also the director of Oval Office operations, defended the president against a report that revealed Trump spent 60 percent of the last three months in ‘executive time.’
Then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump’s ‘executive’ or unstructured time, was spent ‘in scheduled meetings, events, and calls,’ adding that ‘there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.’
‘What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules,’ Westerhout tweeted. ‘What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.’
Before Westerhout became Trump’s personal secretary, she worked first for the Mitt Romney 2012 campaign, then the Republican National Committee, assisting its chief of staff Katie Walsh.
But earlier this year it was reported that she had been in tears when Trump won – something which made others in the West Wing question her loyalty.
When the election ended, she joined Walsh in New York. There the RNC chief of staff had Madeleine begin escorting visitors to Trump Tower, through the press and security in front.
‘Katie wanted me to make sure that these important people got inside the building and where they needed to be,’ she told CNN.
‘And then the President-elect wanted to make sure all of his meetings were very transparent, so it became a little bit more public than I originally thought it was going to be.’
TRUMP’S HIGH-PROFILE DEPARTURE LOUNGE
Here are just some of the top officials who have left Trump’s administration and when their departures were announced
Inauguration Day was January 20
January 31: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
February 13: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn
March 30: Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh
April 9: Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland
May 9: FBI Director James Comey
May 30: Communications Director Michael Dubke
July 21: Press Secretary Sean Spicer
July 28: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
July 31: Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
August 18: Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
August 25: National security aide Sebastian Gorka
September 1: Director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller
September 29: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price
December 8: Deputy National Security adviser Dina Powell
December 13: Communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Newman
February 7: Staff Secretary Rob Porter
February 28: Communications Director Hope Hicks
March 6: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn
March 12: Special assistant and personal aide to the president John McEntee
March 13: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
March 22: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster
March 28: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin
April 10: Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert
April 11: Deputy National Security Adviser Nadia Schadlow
April 12: Deputy National Security adviser Ricky Waddell
May 2: White House attorney Ty Cobb
June 5: Communications aide Kelly Sadler
July 5: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt
August 29: White House Counsel Don McGahn
October 9: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
November 7: Attorney General Jeff Sessions
December 9: Chief of Staff John Kelly
December 15: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
December 20: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
March 8: Communications Director Bill Shine
April 8: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
June 13: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders
June 18: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan
June 25: Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner John Sanders
July 12: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta
July 28: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
August 6: Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman
August 8: Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Sue Gordon
August 29: President’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout