Meet Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s third press secretary and sixth communications director, Melania Trump’s first spokeswoman and second chief of staff. All that in less than four years.
Before Trump, Grisham reportedly lost one job for padding expense reports and another over plagiarism and was twice cited for driving under the influence. As White House press secretary, she never delivered a formal briefing. Instead, she ladled out interviews to Fox News and OAN.
Grisham even went so far as to issue a statement proclaiming that John Kelly, a retired four-star general and past chief of staff, “was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president”. As Grisham recounts, MSNBC said that statement, which she says was dictated by Trump, had “a decidedly North Korean tone”. It had a point.
Finally, on 6 January 2021, Grisham resigned. The insurrectionists who attacked the US Capitol had claimed an unintended scalp. On the page, Grisham lets it be known that the election was not stolen, that she urged the first lady to denounce the storming of the Capitol, and that Melania demurred because she was more concerned with setting up a photo shoot for a rug. That, Grisham writes, was when she decided enough was finally enough.
Like most things Trump, reality is a casualty. Text messages obtained by Politico indicate that Grisham was fine with challenging election results – until she wasn’t.
Grisham follows into print Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer; Omarosa, former Apprentice contestant and Trump White House refugee; Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former friend and aide to Melania and rival to Grisham; and Stormy Daniels, adult film star and alleged recipient of $130,000 in Trump hush-money.
To know Trump is to blab. As Grisham frames things, working near and for the first couple was akin to being in a “Hunger Games-style environment” and Melania morphed into a modern-day Marie Antoinette: “Dismissive. Defeated. Detached.”
Grisham’s book is salacious and score-settling – but not entertaining. Yes, Grisham discusses the state of Trump’s “junk” and shares the first couple’s reactions when Daniels immortalized “Mushroom Mario”. Even so, her tone is mirthless.
“Not in two million years had I ever thought I’d have a conversation with the president of the United States about his penis,” she writes. Perhaps she forgot Bill Clinton.
She also portrays Rudy Giuliani as off-putting and not-quite-right. The New York mayor turned Trump lawyer “gave off weird vibes when he was around the president”, she writes. Being in a meeting with Giuliani was tantamount to “being cross-examined about it later by some committee”. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, criminally charged Giuliani associates, would surely agree.
Grisham has other targets. Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff, is presented as a treacherous boot-licker, instrumental in driving Grisham from her job as White House press secretary and back to the sole employ of Melania. Lindsey Graham was a two-faced…