President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters Tuesday to purchase a new memoir by a former top White House aide who was fired last year after making critical comments to reporters about the president’s daughters.
“Great new book by former Director of Oval Office Operations, Madeleine Westerhout, entitled ‘Off the Record,’” Trump wrote on Twitter. “When I look at all of the Fake Books and garbage written about me, it’s really nice to see a very smart and already wise young woman write an honest depiction of what went on at the White House during some extremely interesting and important times.”
“So many good stories by someone who, unlike most other so called writers, was actually there, and a part of the action – of which there was plenty,” he added. “Go buy this book, a job well done!”
Westerhout, Trump’s longtime executive assistant, abruptly resigned from the White House in August 2019 after coming under scrutiny for sharing intimate details about the president’s family with the press. She had also sought in the months before to expand the boundaries of her role to encompass a broader set of tasks and to include foreign travel.
Days later, POLITICO reported on the nature of Westerhout’s remarks to reporters, which came at an off-the-record dinner that she and then-deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley held with members of the media who were covering Trump’s vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Westerhout bragged to reporters that she had a better relationship with Trump than his daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump, and that the president did not like being in pictures with Tiffany because he perceived her as overweight. Westerhout also jokingly told the journalists that Trump could not pick Tiffany out of a crowd.
Trump confirmed at the time that Westerhout had been fired for discussing his children with reporters, calling her comments “a little bit hurtful.” But he also praised Westerhout as a “very good person” and said he had “wished her well.”
The weekend after Westerhout’s ouster, Trump tweeted that although she “has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her! I love Tiffany, doing great!”
The president’s latest social media post on the matter came a half-hour after Westerhout appeared Tuesday morning on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” to promote her forthcoming book. In the interview, she answered questions about the controversy that resulted in her firing.
“So, you know what? I had a bad night. And a major lapse of judgment cost me my dream job. On a rare day off, after a couple of drinks by the pool, I accepted an invitation to an off-the-record dinner with four reporters and a White House colleague of mine,” Westerhout said.
“And at that dinner, I said some things that I didn’t mean and that I never should have said,” she continued. “And I deeply regret that, but I take full responsibility for my actions that night and really regret that I hurt people that I care about very, very much.”