Who Is Madeleine Westerhout? 10 Facts About The Former Personal Secretary To President Trump

When Madeleine Westerhout first joined the Trump administration, she became known as the greeter girl, the gatekeeper of Trump Tower. With her beaming smile, the mysterious brunette would welcome guests into Donald Trump's offices during his tenure as president, her affable persona a stark contrast from the pernicious connotations of MAGA hats and Trump's invective. Characterized by her steadfast loyalty and allegiance to the highly divisive president, throughout the years she edged gradually closer to the inner workings of the White House. "Saying no to protect the president's time was my job, and I became good at it. If I hadn't been, there would have been chaos in the Oval Office," she declared in her book "Off the Record." "Someone once told me, 'You're a traffic cop at the most important intersection in the world.'" But despite her swagger and semi-notoriety in the press, very little is known about Westerhout.

With his third presidential campaign blighted by a succession of legal issues, including an ongoing judicial investigation, body language experts have noted that the usually stoic Trump appears stressed in the courtroom. Countless individuals who once worked for the Trump administration have turned their back on the former president. So, when Westerhout was called to testify at Trump's fraud trial, the world waited with bated breath to see whether she, too, would turn on her former boss. As Trump's trial continues, let's find out who Madeleine Westerhout is. Here are 10 facts about the former personal secretary to former President Donald Trump.

Madeleine Westerhout is a graduate of the College of Charleston

Born in Orange County, California, Madeleine Westerhout made the decision to travel to the other side of the country for her college education. Subsequently, she attended the College of Charleston in South Carolina, which also boasts fellow Republican Casey DeSantis, wife of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, as an alumnus.

In a 2017 interview with The College Today, Westerhout shared that she was eager for a fresh start after graduating from high school. Subsequently, she suggested that she would not have enjoyed such a unique career path had she not attended the College of Charleston. "I think the combination of the city, the College and the different options of classes — how those melded together — let me grow into a different person than if I'd been to another college or stayed in my home state," she said. In 2013, she graduated with a BA in political science, embarking on her political career much sooner than she may have expected.

Madeleine Westerhout started out as an intern for Mitt Romney

In 2012, Madeleine Westerhout secured a highly coveted role while still undertaking her college degree. She was appointed as an intern for Mitt Romney during the Republican nominee's unsuccessful presidential campaign against Barack Obama. During an appearance on "The Leader Assistant Podcast", she revealed that she moved to Washington immediately after graduating. "I was told that it would be very difficult to get a job in D.C. if I wasn't physically in D.C.," she explained. "So I secured an internship, moved up there."

But Westerhout didn't graduate with grandiose dreams; rather, she hoped to secure an entry-level position, as opposed to the high-profile role she would soon take on. At the end of the day, she was just eager to work. "I was not going to be one of those ... recent college graduates who was still having their parents pay for everything," she said.

After her internship with Romney, she worked with South Carolina's John Kuhn, before joining the team of the Republican National Committee's Katie Walsh, who became a close friend and mentor during this pivotal time in her career. As Westerhout told CNN in 2016, "I've been working for Katie Walsh for about three and a half years, I'm her assistant. And we went up to New York after we won the election and we've all just been helping out Reince [Priebus] and the team and doing what we can to make things work here."

Prior to her political career, she worked as a fitness instructor

Before entering the world of politics, Madeleine Westerhout's life couldn't have been farther from the cutthroat realm of the nation's capital. The college graduate worked as a fitness instructor before embarking on her political career. According to a 2016 Daily Mail profile, Westerhout was still working at Pure Barre in Washington, D.C. when she was appointed assistant to Donald Trump.

Westerhout's fitness background became a point of contention when her identity was made public in 2016. In a since deleted X post (via The Washington Post), she called out the media for characterizing her as a fitness instructor who stumbled upon a political career by chance. She insisted that she was merely working part-time as a workout teacher while she pursued a path that would lead her to the Republican National Convention. "Love that I'm an 'ex-fitness instructor' but I only taught Pure Barre part time for a couple years ... my #1 priority has always been the RNC!" she wrote.

It seems like she may have closed the door on her fitness instructor chapter for good. When her time with Donald Trump's administration drew to a close, Westerhout did not get back into the teaching game. Rather, she joined a consulting firm called American Global Strategies as the company's chief of staff. 

When Donald Trump won the election, Madeleine Westerhout wasn't happy

Despite her avowed support for Donald Trump in the ensuing months, Madeleine Westerhout didn't actually vote for Trump at the 2016 presidential election. In fact, she was so distraught following Trump's victory that she reportedly burst into tears. So, when she was appointed executive assistant to the president, those within her inner circle were more than a tad confused. "To the amusement of her RNC peers, she was later chosen as the president's executive assistant and now sits just outside the Oval Office," Tim Alberta mused in his book "American Carnage."

Though she did not vote for Trump in 2016, she was quick to clarify on a 2020 episode of "Fox & Friends" that she didn't vote for Hillary Clinton either. She also said her perspective had been clouded by the mainstream media at the time. "[I]t wasn't until I got to know him and know his character that I realized how wrong I had been," she added. 

Despite her initial consternation about Trump leading the country, she has since changed her mind and her support for him has remained intact. "Four years ago, I wasn't so sure of the Republican Party's nominee for president," she wrote on X in 2020. "Tonight, I could not be more proud to support @realDonaldTrump with all of my heart. He cares about every single American & will continue to fight for all of us no matter how tough the battle is."

Madeleine Westerhout said Donald Trump was fair but 'expected perfection'

Her initial reservations aside, Madeleine Westerhout became Trump Tower's mysterious so-called "greeter girl" in 2016. Initially, her identity was unknown, but the elevator girl ushering guests into Donald Trump's offices caught everyone's attention. "Who is this?" "Top Chef" star Tom Colicchio asked on X. "She has greeted everyone at Trumps [sic] golf club and T Tower. No snark just wondering." When her identity became public, she told CNN that she was both surprised and delighted at being invited into Trump's inner circle at the young age of 26. "Definitely unexpected — I was not planning on any of this," she admitted, "but it's been really fun and it's an amazing experience we're all seeing, so it's fun."

By 2017, she was appointed executive assistant to President Trump. Within two years, she was a director of operations, and her salary reportedly went from $95,000 to a cool $145,000 a year. 

The job was sometimes stressful for the Orange County native, but she nonetheless found her work highly rewarding. Accordingly, the newcomer had nothing but kind words to say about her divisive boss. "[Trump] was really easy-going and really good to his staff," she said on "The Leader Assistant Podcast." "And so whenever I made a mistake, you know, he kind of wanted me to correct it ... he never yelled at me, he was never too tough on me ... He expected perfection, but he also understood that people make mistakes and we're all in this together."

Madeleine Westerhout was once one of Donald Trump's closest allies

As Madeleine Westerhout gained access to the inner workings of the White House, she and Donald Trump soon grew close, with the president — in true Trumpian style — referring to his devoted assistant as "my beautiful beauty." "Madeleine is the key," he once declared, per The Washington Post. "She's the secret." Unlike countless others who were once regarded close confidants of Trump, Westerhout remained loyal to the contentious reality-TV-star-turned-POTUS. "It wasn't until I got to know him that I saw a different side of him," she told People, "and I realized how wrong I had been to just blindly believe everything the mainstream media said."

Accordingly, she became indebted to him. Indeed, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly regarded Westerhout as a family member and one of the most trustworthy people within the then president's inner circle.

Long after leaving the Oval Office, Westerhout continued to express her support for Trump, insisting that the controversial president is a friend to all — despite Trump having made numerous disparaging remarks about minorities. "Countless women. African Americans. A gay man. Immigrants. Millennials," she wrote on X in 2020, her idiosyncratic tweeting style not unlike Trump's. "It's almost like @realDonaldTrump is the president for EVERY American, which is the opposite of what the MSM & Left would have you believe, but no surprise to those of us who know him!"

She defended Donald Trump when his schedule was leaked

From the outset of his presidency, there were claims that Donald Trump was somewhat of a slacker, lacking any real work ethic. But in February 2019, such claims were seemingly confirmed when the president's work schedule was leaked to Axios. The leak revealed that around 60% of Trump's schedule consisted of unstructured "executive time," a concept reportedly introduced by former chief of staff John Kelly due to Trump's aversion to adhering to a strict itinerary. "He's always up to something," offered one White House official, "it's just not what you would consider typical structure."

Subsequently, critics accused Trump of being the laziest president in history. Vanity Fair, for instance, pointed out that previous presidents had worked significantly longer hours than Trump; namely, his predecessor, Barack Obama, who was allegedly deemed lazy by Trump, often worked until 2:00 a.m.

As one of Trump's closest allies, Madeleine Westerhout rushed to defend her boss. According to her, the laziness accusations levied at Trump were entirely baseless. "What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules," she wrote in a since deleted X post, per Vanity Fair. "What these don't show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday." Her X post also appears to hint that such accusations amounted to fake news — and this wouldn't be the only time she made such a claim. In both social media posts and interviews, Westerhout has frequently purported that the mainstream media disseminates false stories about Trump.

She lost her job over her comments about Donald Trump's daughters

Much has been made of Donald Trump's relationship with his kids. In particular, he appears to favor eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, which has allegedly impacted Donald's relationship with Tiffany Trump. Madeleine Westerhout's dream job within the Oval Office abruptly ended when she appeared to confirm this unusual family dynamic.

In August 2019, Westerhout was fired after making disparaging remarks about Tiffany to journalists. According to a scoop by Politico, the executive assistant claimed that Donald didn't want to be photographed with his youngest daughter due to her weight, before bragging that Donald preferred her to his two daughters. "She had a couple drinks and in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, she opened up to the reporters," a source said. She apparently felt emboldened to go on the rant after the first lady, Melania Trump, paid her a compliment. The then president told reporters that he was sad to let Westerhout go, while affirming his love for Tiffany. He later wrote on X that he forgave Westerhout, who apologized for her behavior.

In her book, "Off the Record," Westerhout admitted that she had one too many glasses of wine and enjoyed suddenly being lavished with attention by journalists. "It's hard for me to believe that I made those comments, because I know that the comments that are reported I made are not true and I don't believe them to be true," she told People. "But I take responsibility for what was reported." 

She wrote a book about working for Donald Trump

In 2020, Madeleine Westerhout published "Off the Record: My Dream Job at the White House, How I Lost It, and What I Learned," a book about her time within Donald Trump's administration. In her aforementioned chat with People, she revealed that she used the book as a coping mechanism as she came to terms with losing her highly coveted job. "I was devastated after I lost my job," she said. "And I realized that I was nowhere near ready to jump into something new, and I wanted to take the time to process what happened. And I think this book reads almost like my diary."

While one might have expected a juicy tell-all from Donald Trump's former confidant — in the vein of, say, Michael Cohen's "Disloyal: A Memoir" or John Bolton's "The Room Where It Happened" — Westerhout used the book as an opportunity to paint the brash president in a more favorable light. In a chat with KUSI News, she was asked why her perception of Trump differs so drastically to that of so many of her fellow former Oval Office officials. "There were so many reports, you know, saying, 'Madeleine could make millions off of the tell-all,'" she said, "and I thought to myself, there's not enough money in the world for me to sit down and lie about what I experienced. What I experienced was someone who loves this country and who's a kind man."

Madeleine Westerhout gave some unique insight into how Donald Trump tweets

Body language experts have noted Donald Trump's on-brand body language during his fraud trial in 2023, with the former president seemingly brazen despite his mounting legal woes. But in addition to his distinctive mannerisms, Trump is famed for his bizarre speech patterns and tweeting style. Madeleine Westerhout, whose own social media musings are full of the exclamation points and random capitalization that made Trump's X posts famous, has offered some insight into her former boss' idiosyncrasies. Back in 2020, she divulged to KUSI News that even her most dedicated Trumpist pals begged her to get the president to stop posting on X. "My response to that is, you know, we're not going to love every single tweet the president puts out," she said. "But we finally have a commander-in-chief who shares with the American people his thought process ... So I would much rather have a transparent president."

When Westerhout took the witness stand at Trump's trial in 2024, she explained that the former president would dictate as she penned his X posts. "My recollection is there are certain words he liked to capitalize," she said, per the BBC. "Words like 'country'. He liked to use exclamation points. It is my understanding that he liked to use the Oxford comma." Moreover, Westerhout, who cried on the witness stand as she recalled the day she was fired, reiterated her claim that Trump is a good man routinely misrepresented by the mainstream media.