GOP Strategist Says Washington Post WH Bureau Chief ‘Burned’ Trump’s Ousted Secretary by Revealing Off-the-Record Conversation

GOP Strategist Says Washington Post WH Bureau Chief ‘Burned’ Trump’s Ousted Secretary by Revealing Off-the-Record Conversation
A man walks into the Washington Post's new building in Washington, on March 3, 2016. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Venus Upadhayaya

Arthur Schwartz, a GOP Strategist, has alleged that The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Philip Rucker leaked off-the-record conversations with President Donald Trump’s recently-ousted personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout, to reporters.

In an unexpected move, 28-year-old Westerhout, who was Trump’s longtime personal assistant, resigned from her role on Aug. 29 after Trump found out that she shared details about his family and about Oval office operations to journalists in an off-the-record dinner that took place near Bedminster, New Jersey, while Trump was on a working vacation on Aug. 17.

“I’ve heard from two reporters that Philip Rucker is the one that burned Madeleine Westerhout. A couple of people in the WH told me the same,” wrote Schwartz in a message on Twitter on Aug. 29.

While Breitbart describes Schwartz as a GOP strategist, the New York Times mentions him as a Trump ally and the Intelligencer says he is a trained lawyer. Schwartz’s Twitter profile just mentions that he is a resident in Washington.
When Steve Herman, the White House Bureau Chief for VOA News wrote a message on Twitter about Schwartz blaming Rucker for “leaking about the reporters’ off-the-record dinner” with Westerhout, the GOP strategist replied: “Has @PhilipRucker denied it? WaPo can mumble through their ‘he never violated our standards or policies’ [expletive] excuse all they want. Was it off the record? Yes. Did he repeat it to someone else? Yes.”

Schwartz alleged there were four journalists present in that off-the-record dinner with Westerhout and Rucker was the only one who breached the agreement.

“By refusing to take responsibility for his egregious violation of basic rules of journalism, Philip Rucker is compromising the reputations of the other three. And WaPo stands by in silence,” he wrote in another message.
In a more recent message on Twitter on Saturday, Schwartz argued that Rucker can not be trusted and he should be excluded from off-the-record conversations with the president in the future.

“The WH should exclude @PhilipRucker and @jdawsey1 from future off the record discussions with POTUS or any other WH official. Those two simply can’t be trusted,” he said.

In the latest post, Schwartz gave more details about what he calls the “@PhilipRucker scandal.” He alleged that Rucker shared the off-the-record conversation with a fellow journalist, Josh Dawsey who also serves the Washington Post at the White House.

“Rucker broke his off the record agreement with the disgraced former WH staffer by sharing with @jdawsey1.Dawsey then shared w/ anyone that would listen. Consistent with your standards & policies, @washingtonpost? @whca?” he said.

Trump on Saturday called Westerhout as a “good person” and said she called him to apologize and that he has forgiven her.

Earlier on Friday, before leaving for Camp David, Trump had called Westerhout’s abrupt departure an “unfortunate” episode and said her comments about his family were a “little bit hurtful.” He also criticized the press for being “dishonest” and making Westerhout’s off-the-records comments public.

Venus Upadhayaya reports on India, China, and the Global South. Her traditional area of expertise is in Indian and South Asian geopolitics. Community media, sustainable development, and leadership remain her other areas of interest.
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