Careers

Here's how much President Trump's 27-year-old assistant makes

Few people can say that they've come face-to-face with the likes of Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio or former Vice President Al Gore. Even fewer can say they were rubbing shoulders with the who's who of business and politics at age 27.

But most people aren't Madeleine Westerhout.

The young politico first attracted media attention in 2016, when she was photographed escorting high-power individuals through Trump Tower, as an assistant to Republican National Committee chief of staff Katie Walsh. She was later tapped to serve as the special assistant and executive assistant to President Donald Trump — a job that comes with a $130,000 annual salary, according to White House salary data released on Friday.

That paycheck is nothing to scoff at, especially for someone her age. In 2017, U.S. employees between the ages of 25 and 34 made an average of $773.50 weekly, or $40,222 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Westerhout earned $95,000 in 2017, meaning she received a 37 percent raise this year.

How does Trump's assistant stack up to others who've held the same role? She makes significantly more than both her predecessors.

Anita Decker Breckenridge, who started as former President Barack Obama's executive assistant during his second term, at age 32, made $95,000 during each of her two years in the White House. Even taking inflation into account, Trump's assistant still makes more than Breckenridge, whose 2012 salary would be worth just over $105,400 today.

Westerhout's pay is also higher than Obama's first executive assistant, who started in 2009 at age 27. Katie Johnson made $90,000 in her second year as Obama's executive assistant. Adjusted for inflation, her 2010 salary would be closer to $104,500.

Westerhout is originally from California and holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of Charleston. She's previously worked as an assistant to other Republican candidates at the state and federal level, and took time off from college in 2012 to intern for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

"I'll be an eyewitness to history, which is pretty exciting," she told The College of Charleston last year. "It's such an honor."

This is an updated version of a story that appeared previously.

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