It looks like we’re finally getting a Trump White House Palace Intrigue Book™ that’s mildly interesting, courtesy of Stephanie Grisham, former First Lady Melania Trump’s chief-of-staff and former certified ride-or-die.
Politico reports that Grisham’s upcoming tell-all, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House, offers some context to her abrupt resignation following the January 6 pro-Trump riots at the Capitol.
At 1:25 p.m. on Jan. 6, soon after rioters had broken through barricades outside of the Capitol, MELANIA TRUMP received a text message from her then-chief of staff, STEPHANIE GRISHAM.
“Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?” Grisham asked the first lady.
A minute later, Melania replied with a one-word answer: “No.” At that moment, she was at the White House preparing for a photo shoot of a rug she had selected...
Grisham resigned shortly after this exchange.
But that’s not all. Grisham writes that, following Joe Biden’s election victory, she repeatedly asked Melania whether she was interested in reaching out to Jill Biden at some point during the transition to set up the traditional inauguration tea. “But instead of setting up the meeting, Melania told her that they should ‘see what the West Wing does,’” Politico reports. “The reason, according to Grisham: Melania, like her husband, believed the election was illegitimate.”
If anyone was still hanging onto the idea that Melania Trump was an innocent victim of a boorish husband as opposed to an enabler of his worst impulses and beliefs, this should be the final nail in the coffin.
Grisham had been a mover and shaker in Trumpland for years at that point, acting as a press wrangler for the Trump campaign in 2015 when the idea of Donald Trump as president was still largely fanciful. And from May 2019 to April 2020, Grisham not only maintained her role as Melania’s chief-of-staff but also as the White House communications director and White House press secretary. The latter was only notable for the lack of press briefings but still; Grisham wore several hats, juggled many duties, and arguably knew the Trump White House in a way that many of her colleagues simply didn’t.
No wonder Melania’s team is getting so pissed.
A statement provided by the office of Melania Trump said: “The intent behind this book is obvious. It is an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House. Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump.” (Her mention of “failed personal relationships” appears likely to be a reference to Grisham’s past relationship with former Trump aide MAX MILLER. Citing three people familiar with the incident, POLITICO Magazine reported in July that the relationship “ended when he pushed her against a wall and slapped her in the face in his Washington apartment after she accused him of cheating on her.” He denied the allegation.)
It’s pretty low to invoke a domestic abuse allegation into a statement like this but hey, that’s the Trump family for you. Looks like someone needs a refresher on how to Be Best.