Throughout the dreadful four years of the Trump Administration, liberals were looking for any kind resistance hero, even in the most unlikely of places. And naturally, amid a deluge of reports about how much former First Lady Melania Trump resented her first lady duties—like, say, choosing Christmas decorations—and seemingly endless video remixes of her swatting her husband’s hand away as he reached for hers, Melania, for a moment there, seemed at the very least as if she might hate her husband as much as the rest of us.
Of course, if that bubble wasn’t sharply burst by the “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” jacket at a detention center for migrant children in 2018, Melania’s former aide Stephanie Grisham has squashed those assumptions. On Tuesday, amid ongoing House hearings about the Trump-instigated Capitol insurrection last year, Grisham shared a short and sweet screenshot of her asking Melania if she wanted to “tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?” per the screenshot. Melania’s short and not-so-sweet response? “No.”
No explanation, no punctuation, not even a heart emoji to charmingly complete the callousness of it all. She simply supported the violent rioters trying to overturn an election in order to keep her unhinged husband in power.
The screenshotted text exchange from Grisham follows bombshell testimony from 25-year-old former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the House Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday. Hutchinson testified that former President Trump wanted his armed supporters to be allowed through security at his rally, that he’d lunged at a secret service officer in an effort to get to the Capitol to join his supporters as the insurrection was happening, and even that he threw ketchup at the wall—amid other shocking, yet entirely un-shocking claims.
Grisham followed up her tweet of the text exchange with a CNN interview on Tuesday, specifically detailing Jan. 6 from her perspective working for Melania at the time. “Knowing her as well as I did at that point, it was so unlike her to not have condemned it, that that was the moment it all kind of broke me,” Grisham said.
She also referenced Hutchinson’s testimony directly as what inspired her to share the text exchange. “Yesterday, hearing Cassidy’s testimony, I felt compelled to show that text because it was a lot of context I thought, and again, knowing Melania like I did, I was so disappointed and discouraged and sickened that she wouldn’t stand up and just say simply, ‘There should be no violence.’”
Grisham has previously spoken out against the Trumps and shared concerning anecdotes about her time at the White House in her memoir, in which she details the former president’s temper issues and claims Melania tried to rebel against him in small—and frankly, entirely useless—ways throughout the presidency.
Of course, neither Grisham nor Hutchinson are heroes of any kind. No one with a lick of decency would have chosen to work at any point for this god-awful, misogynist, white nationalist administration. But there’s a certain amount of closure we can find in bypassing the hearsay and going straight to the text.