White House whistleblower Olivia Troye reveals Donald Trump staff hide sickness and work in fear in virus-hit West Wing

Donald Trump
Donald Trump has been keen to be seen without a mask after contracting the virus. Credit: AP

Staff in Donald Trump’s White House are “scared” for their own safety because of the administration’s "cavalier" attitude towards coronavirus, a former aide has told ITV News.

Olivia Troye, who recently resigned as special advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, told the Will Trump Win? podcast that staff would “get looks” and be made fun of for wearing a mask and coronavirus cases within the administration were “hid”.

This week several members of the Vice President’s team have tested positive for Covid-19, including Chief of Staff Marc Short. 

Ms Troye, who worked with the team as part of her role on Mr Pence's White House coronavirus task force until August this year, said she was not surprised that the virus would spread within the West Wing.

“We would be sitting in meetings and nobody would have a mask on,” said Ms Troye.

“It would only be a matter of time before the Vice President or the President got sick to be honest, because we were behaving in a manner that was cavalier.”

Speaking to me on the latest Will Trump Win? podcast, I asked her if she was ever worried for her own safety.

“I was really worried," she replied. "I was even more scared that I would be the one that would contract it somehow and give it to my boss, the Vice President, who is one of the leaders of our country. 

Olivia Troye told Will Trump Win? that Mike Pence would not defy Donald Trump. Credit: AP

“I was concerned for my family. I limited the interactions I had with anybody else, my extended family. I haven’t seen them since before the pandemic and I haven’t seen close friends. 

“I really just sort of isolated myself because I knew that I was exposed daily.

“I saw the behaviour in the White House and I knew that once they got back on the road and they were travelling, we had advanced staff get sick. They just didn’t want to tell people. They hid it.

“We knew internally that people were sick and...we would have these behind-closed-doors conversations.

“I’d had closed conversations with more junior staffers who would come to me and say ‘I’m scared, I’m on the trip this week.’ And I’d say, ‘You’ve got to keep your mask on. I don’t care how weird or awkward it is, keep your mask on. Wash your hands. Carry the hand sanitiser. Do everything you can to protect yourself.’

Olivia Troye has lambasted Donald Trump for his handling of the virus response. Credit: ITV News / Will Trump Win?

“They would come back from these trips and in our situations they would stay six or seven feet away from me, but then I’d walk into the West Wing and everyone’s sitting on top of each other and no one’s wearing a mask.”

Ms Troye said there was an anti-mask culture in the White House that came from the President, where staff would be frowned upon for wearing one.

“It did feel awkward," she told Will Trump Win? "You’d walk in and you’d get the looks.

“You knew that there was a narrative being pushed by the President and his more senior advisers and they were anti-mask.

"Whether it was a vanity thing, or, (as) I was told, they didn’t want pictures out that the Democrats could use against them - my take is, anybody who would make fun at that, quite frankly is a jerk.”

After two years in the Trump White House Ms Troye quit in the summer over the President’s handling of the pandemic and alleges he "lied to the American people over the seriousness of coronavirus".

She went on: “There were times when the doctors would brief him and he would ask the right questions. He would say, ‘is this worse than the flu? What does this mean? How bad is it going to be?' 

Ivanka Trump is seen wearing a mask at a public rally but behind closed doors her father's administration took a different approach. Credit: AP

“You could see him actually absorb it and look worried. But then everything he told the American public was a lie and (he was) trying to play it down for months that this was not as severe as it was, because (he was) concerned about the election coming up."

Ms Troye added: “Behind closed doors sometimes he would make crazy comments. 

“It’s very hard to get him to focus, it’s whatever the last thing he saw on the news or whoever made him mad on Twitter. And at times we’d be trying to stick to a very important agenda because every second mattered.”

Keith Kellogg, Mr Pence's national security adviser, claims he sacked Ms Troye and "escorted her off the compound”.

He has also accused of her lying about her time in the White House, accusations she denies.

Ms Troye is a lifelong Republican, but told me she will be voting for Joe Biden in this election.

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