You may remember Stephanie Grisham as the woman who back in 2019 briefly served as press secretary to Donald Trump after being plucked from her job as the press secretary for First Lady Melania Trump.
Sandwiched between the tenures of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany, Grisham’s time as White House press secretary was most noted for the fact that she managed to never hold a single formal press briefing for White House correspondents during her nine months on the job.
After being replaced by McEnany in the midst of the COVID crisis when the White House was forced to transition back to daily press conferences, Grisham returned to her old job as Melania’s head communications officer, adding additional duties as chief of staff for the First Lady.
It was position she held until she abruptly resigned on January 6th of this year after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by an angry mob of MAGA insurrectionists.
With many former officials in the Trump administration having trouble finding gainful employment after their work with the ignominious ex-president — or at least those not snapped up by Fox News or other right-wing media players to contribute to their lineup of misinformation-mongering commentators — Grisham has decided that the best way to make some quick cash is to write a tell-all book about her experiences in the Trump White House, being one of the few people who managed to survive for nearly the entire length of the administration.
Entitled I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House, Grisham’s new memoir is scheduled to be published on October 5th by Harper Collins, but some of the details of the book — which is touted by publishing industry insiders to include “potentially unflattering nuggets” about many of the people in Trump’s orbit — are beginning to leak out as the pre-publication publicity push for the book begins.
“Stephanie knows she’s stirred up a hornet’s nest with this book,” one source told POLITICO. “Stephanie has secrets about Trump that even the first lady doesn’t know. Secrets that he doesn’t want her to know. They will be in this book.”
While we’ll likely have to wait for the book’s publication to get the juiciest details of its previously undisclosed dirt, one of those “unflattering nuggets” from its pages has already been disclosed: Melania Trump’s refusal to condemn the violence on January 6th and her apparent agreement with her husband’s belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
According to an account in POLITCO:
“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.’”
Grisham notes that the then-First Lady was busy preparing for a photo shoot of a rug that she had purchased at the time of her text.
Another detail that Grisham reveals is the fact that she urged Melania several times to contact the incoming First Lady Jill Biden to arrange for the heretofore traditional pre-inauguration transition meeting over tea, but was rebuffed by the Slovenian immigrant bride who told Grisham to “see what the West Wing does,” since she, like her husband, thought that the election was illegitimate.
Melania’s reaction was what convinced Grisham to tender her resignation that insurrection day since, after defending the First Lady for so long against comparisons to Marie Antoinette, Grisham was now convinced that Melania was actually very much like “the doomed French queen. Dismissive. Defeated. Detached,” as she writes in her book.
Unsurprisingly, Melania Trump’s response to Grisham’s memoir was less than positive and attacked the woman who had dutifully served her interests for nearly four years.
“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,” a statement from Melania’s office read.
With I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House due out in less than a month, we can expect more sordid stories from inside the West Wing to dribble out over the weeks ahead.
We can also expect a smear campaign against Grisham from the Trump camp as they try to discredit the latest insider account of their perfidy.
Original reporting by Daniel Lippman at POLITICO.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.