Melania Trump declined her chief of staff’s suggestion she condemn rioters who attacked the US Capitol on 6 January, according to a new book by the spurned aide who also says the former first lady believed her husband’s lie that his defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud.
According to Politico, reporting the first details of the hotly anticipated book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House, Stephanie Grisham also compares Melania Trump to Marie Antoinette.
The first lady was like “the doomed French queen”, Grisham reportedly writes. “Dismissive. Defeated. Detached.”
Grisham worked for Melania Trump either side of a nine-month spell as press secretary to Donald Trump in which she did not hold a single press-room briefing.
Her book was announced last week, one unnamed former White House aide telling Axios: “There isn’t enough water on earth to contain the fire she could set to all of Trumpworld, including parts like the first lady’s orbit.
“It’s hard to articulate how much anxiety this is going to cause.”
Politico reported that on 6 January, as Trump supporters attempted to violently overturn the election, Grisham texted Melania Trump: “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?”
A minute later, “Melania replied with a one-word answer: ‘No.’”
According to Grisham, the first lady was more concerned with setting up a photo shoot for a rug.
Grisham, who resigned “within hours”, reportedly writes that Melania Trump also refused to reach out to Jill Biden, wife of president-elect Joe Biden, to set up a traditional inauguration tea – because she believed Biden’s win was illegitimate.
Melania Trump reportedly told Grisham “something bad happened” and did not listen when her aide tried to explain there was no wide-scale electoral fraud.
In a statement to Politico, 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 behaviour in the White House. Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs Trump.”
Five days after the Capitol attack, Melania Trump issued a statement in which she said she was “disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week”.
A publishing source told Politico Grisham had “stirred up a hornet’s nest” and would reveal “potentially unflattering nuggets” about others including Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser, and Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff.
“Stephanie has secrets about Trump that even the first lady doesn’t know,” Politico quoted the source as saying. “Secrets that he doesn’t want her to know. They will be in this book.”