There’s no doubt that loyalty is one of President Trump’s most endearing traits, nor that unearned trust is one of his greatest weaknesses.
Time and again, he has reached out to Never Trumpers like Mitt Romney and anti-Trumpers such as FBI Director Christopher Wray, and time after time he has been burned. His faith in generals like Mattis and Kelly was misplaced, and they worked to stymie his agenda.
Now the latest incidence of Trump being hurt by his embrace of an apparent enemy has surfaced in the betrayal of Madeleine Westerhout, the president’s personal assistant.
According to CBS:
President Trump’s personal assistant and director of Oval Office operations Madeleine Westerhout abruptly resigned Thursday.
During the president’s vacation at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey earlier this month, Westerhout attended an off-the-record dinner with reporters at the Grain and Cane restaurant in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Sources with knowledge of the dinner told CBS she had been drinking and disclosed private details about the president’s family. She also gossiped about TV news personalities seeking access to the president.
How this woman ever got into the White House in the first place deserves a thorough investigation. According to the New York Times, she was apparently a Never Trumper who somehow became the gatekeeper on access to a president she despised:
Ms. Westerhout, a former Republican National Committee aide who also worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, reportedly cried on election night because she was upset over Mr. Trump’s victory. As such, the president at first viewed her warily, as a late convert to his cause who could not be trusted.
But some of Mr. Trump’s top officials — like John F. Kelly, who has since left as chief of staff — tried to turn Ms. Westerhout into an ally who could help them manage Oval Office traffic. They hoped that she could block individuals from reaching the president on the phone or in person, and that she would report back on the calls and meetings that made it through.
That is sadly typical of how this president’s willingness to trust his enemies has gotten him into trouble.
No doubt this drunken assistant betrayed personal details about the life of the First Family, but I wonder just what else she has leaked in the past two or three years. She would have been one of the few people with access to the president’s personal schedules, which were leaked a few months ago.
In addition, I am curious about the timing of Westerhout’s resignation just a few days after the embarrassing (and no doubt fake) report that President Trump had expressed an interest in dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes. That story originated from Axios. I would certainly be interested to know whether either of the authors — Jonathan Swan and Margaret Talev — has been present at the Grain and Cane when Ms. Westerhout was demonstrating her inability to hold her liquor (or her secrets).
The timing of the Axios story, just one week after the president’s departure from Bedminster, is certainly suggestive. It would have taken about a week for the reporters to flesh out the story and do additional (anonymous!) interviews.
In any case, the departure of a leaker is good news for this White House. If I had any advice for the president, it would be to do more of the same — and quickly. There are easy ways to smoke out leakers. Get the good guys from the FBI to put in place a sting operation and clean out the entire West Wing of the traitors and troublemakers.
To read more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake.” They are all available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also visit Heartland Diary on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/