Former first lady Melania Trump believed her husband Donald was getting ‘bad advice’ during his final months in office and worried about unannounced visitors – such as election-denying lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell – stepping on she was wearing only a dress, according to testimony from her former chief of staff earlier this year.
Stephanie Grisham told the House Select Committee that investigated the Capitol riot last year that Melania, now 52, believed her husband’s advisers had let him down during the latter part of his presidency and had become “very upset” when they entered the residential areas of the White House without warning.
“She hated it when people came to the residence,” Grisham said in testimony from May, according to a transcript released Thursday by the panel.
“It was her house, she wanted privacy. So I remember, towards the end, she told me that there were constant meetings in the Yellow Oval, which is the room upstairs of the residence, with various people,” Grisham said.
“And she was very upset because nobody warned her and she was walking around in a dress, that kind of thing. But she never gave me any specific names other than Sidney Powell, Giuliani and the country people. These were his words. »
Grisham added that “Mrs. Trump always wanted to be notified before people entered her home.
The testimony did not specify whether unannounced guests actually entered the first lady’s house while she was underdressed and Grisham told the Post it was a ‘theoretical concern’ at best. knowledge.
Grisham noted that her 2021 book ‘I’ll Take Your Questions Now’ mentions the former first lady’s love of dresses, but that the passage in her deposition was meant to highlight Melania Trump’s frustration with the lack of intimacy in the chaotic Trump administration finale.
The 76-year-old Trump 2024 campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Grisham’s testimony.
Grisham worked on the 2016 campaign for the 45th president before joining the White House staff. She worked as the first lady’s senior aide for most of Trump’s four years in office before stepping down when his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s U.S. victory. 2020 elections.
Grisham – who also worked as the White House press secretary from July 2019 to April 2020 – had a toxic relationship with Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, which forced her out of her job as attaché of press, which earned him the final title of first position. lady’s chief of staff.
According to Grisham, Melania Trump faulted Meadows for not giving Trump better advice in the final months of his presidency, but Grisham also said she was surprised the then first lady didn’t. spoke more about the election fraud allegations dismissed by her husband.
The first lady “felt [Meadows] left a lot of people who were possibly detrimental to the president, giving him bad advice,” Grisham recalled.
“He would bring them into the residence or bring them into the Ring. And Mrs. Trump never liked it when people told Trump what he wanted to hear rather than the truth or the reality of the situation, and she felt Meadows was just playing into her hand.
Grisham added that the first lady was “very suspicious of Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, a lot of people coming up to the residence and talking to the president” and that she even “phoned with [Republican National Committee Chairwoman] Ronna [McDaniel] a few times to ask, like, “How are we really doing with the polls?”, because I don’t think she necessarily trusted the campaign entirely.”
“I don’t know if she often attended the meetings. But from… some of the things the president was telling her then, which I don’t have specifics about, she was saying, ‘I think they’re giving him bad advice, I don’t think that’s smart'” Grisham said.
“She was just always frustrated that some people were let into the residence, because during the day, while a lot of people were left around during the day, it was the night I think – it was a bird of night people would show up, there was no control. Sometimes a chief of staff wouldn’t know. And almost anyone could be up there and say something to him. And if those were things he liked to hear, then he would start reacting the next day based on that, and she never liked that.
“She really was always the pragmatic, more down-to-earth, ‘give us the worst-case’ kind of thing, and nobody did that for her,” Grisham added.
Grisham said she woke Melania Trump around 3 a.m. on election night so she could watch her husband’s speech at the White House as the results came in – and she had been surprised when the first lady did not intervene to prevent the 45th president from declaring victory prematurely.
“I started saying to Mrs. Trump, ‘Go in there, you gotta make sure he’s got a cool head’… And she just backed off. She didn’t get into the fray at all…it was very weird because she was usually very outspoken,” Grisham said.
Melania “started packing” when the election was called for Biden on the Saturday after Election Day, according to testimony.
“She didn’t buy into a lot of the conspiracy theories or even some of the things her husband would say,” Grisham said.
However, in December 2020, the aide said Melania had vaguely hinted that she was concerned about election malfeasance. At the same time, the first lady refused to attend the Jan. 6 rally near the White House that preceded the Capitol riot — though she also later declined to issue a statement about the violence.
“I vaguely remember her saying, ‘There’s going to be a rally and all these crazy people are telling her to do this rally, I don’t want to be in it,'” Grisham told the committee.
“She didn’t trust the campaign at the time,” the ex-chief of staff said. “But then, on the other hand, there were days when she was like, ‘Something’s wrong. So someone convinced her.
The Democratic-led House committee released an 845-page final report last week after voting to recommend four criminal charges against the former president, including alleged incitement of an insurrection.