Two Republicans with South Carolina ties — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and a College of Charleston grad who has moved high up in the White House food chain — evidently didn't do enough to connect President Donald Trump with author Bob Woodward.
Graham, R-S.C., and 27-year-old Madeleine Westerhout are mentioned in a phone call between Trump and Woodward discussing how the author's request to interview the president for his forthcoming book "Fear" never materialized.
The names were mentioned in a transcript of a conversation released Tuesday by The Washington Post between Woodward and the president.
“I never got a call,” Trump says. “I never got a message. Who did you ask about speaking to me?”
On several occasions Trump points to staff for not getting him the word.
“Did you speak to Madeleine?” the president asked of Woodward, according to the Post's transcript.
Woodward responds in the negative.
“Madeleine is the key,” Trump said. “She’s the secret. Because she’s the person ..."
Westerhout is Trump's executive assistant. She has landed at the highest level after acting as the “greeter girl” for dignitaries and other prospective administration workers called to visit the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York after the election.
Before landing with Trump, Westerhout had been assistant to Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Katie Walsh and interned for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
She also was a volunteer coordinator for former state Sen. John Kuhn, R-Charleston.
Westerhout makes $130,000 at the White House, according to the most recent listing of West Wing staff titles and salaries, the Post said.
In the Post transcript of the call, Graham is named as one of several senators Woodward went through to get access to the president.
Graham mentioned it, Trump said, but only “quickly,” the Post transcript indicates.