With the White House becoming a revolving door for staffers over the past two-and-a-half years, President Donald Trump and his remaining aides had to create a system to keep the fleeing staffers from writing embarrassing tell-alls, according to a new CNN report.
CNN reported on Wednesday that the White House has several strategies to keep a departing aide with a soured relationship with Trump from running to the nearest publisher: Meet with the President to mend fences and agree not to attack each other, create a “soft landing” for the staffer, or threats of legal action.
For example, Trump was reportedly privately furious at his now-ousted personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, for gossiping about his daughters to the press, even though he publicly stated that she was a “very good person” and that he “fully” forgave her. According to CNN, Trump only did so after his staffers coaxed him into allowing Westerhout to leave on good terms, and now the White House is looking to plant her somewhere else in Trumpworld.
Trump also reportedly met with former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, with whom he’d been clashing for months before Kelly announced his resignation, and asked him about any potential plans to write a book on his experiences in the White House. Kelly reportedly promised not to do so — unless Trump decided to go on the offensive.
If Trump’s relationship with the outgoing aide is damaged beyond repair, the White House’s fallback is the NDA Trump has employees sign, though it’s unlikely such agreements are legally enforceable.