Aide says she thought Melania Trump ‘knew something’ after hearing new January 6 testimony
Stephanie Grisham said on Wednesday she released Melania Trump’s blunt text refusing to condemn the Jan. 6 violence because Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony led her to believe the former first lady was aware of broader plans.
“It just made me think she knew something,” said Grisham, Melania Trump’s former chief of staff. “I thought she knew her husband might try to be down there. She knew something in advance.”
Grisham, who also served as White House press secretary, said she was not aware of this.
“But then again, I knew her as well as I knew her at the time, it was so different from her not to have judged it that that’s when it broke me a little – that’s what I wrote in the book – and I resigned immediately after that,” she told CNN’s New Day.
Hutchinson’s blockbuster testimony — including revelations that Trump had been serious about joining the MAGA crowd at the Capitol — forced Grisham to release a virtual of the text “because it was a lot of context, I thought.”
“And again, I know Melania like me, I was so disappointed, discouraged and nauseous that she didn’t get up and just say there should be no violence,” Grisham said.
On Tuesday, after the Jan. 6 hearing starring Hutchinson concluded, Grisham shared what appeared to be a text exchange between her and an “MT” — Melania Trump — asking, “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence.”
“No,” it appears from Grisham’s texts that the first lady responded.
Stephanie Grisham (left) said on CNN on Wednesday that she released Melania Trump’s blunt text refusing to condemn the Jan. 6 violence because Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony led her to believe the former first lady was aware of wider plans
Stephanie Grisham, the former chief of staff to First Lady Melania Trump, had her own receipts to show off Tuesday after Cassidy Hutchinson testified about the resistance of the president and his advisers to call off the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Stephanie Grisham (left) had previously described how that exchange with now former First Lady Melania Trump (right) forced her to quit her job on Jan. 6. Grisham said she finally saw the first lady as the “damned French queen.” dismissive. defeated. detached’
Grisham had detailed this interaction with the then first lady in her book, I’ll Now Answer Your Questions: What I Saw in Trump’s White Houseexplain how it forced her to leave.
She wrote that she “finally saw the doomed French queen.” dismissive. defeated. Detached.’
Melania Trump was in the middle of a photo shoot shooting some White House carpets when the Capitol was attacked by the pro-Trump mob.
“It broke me,” Grisham wrote. “I took a deep breath and waited another minute. That’s what you learned in the Trump White House: be grounded and don’t act out of the moment. Then I resigned.’
“I emailed her and ccd her senior advisor so I couldn’t take it back or get talked out of it. I was ready,” Grisham said.
In January 2022, Grisham appeared in person on January 6 to speak with members of the House selection committee.
Melania Trump’s ex-chief of staff Stephanie Grisham met behind closed doors in January 2022 with the House select committee on January 6. She is seen at the meeting being held at the O’Neill House Office Building in Washington
Stephanie Grisham tweeted her exchange with Melania Trump after former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson spoke of her own “frustration” at getting Meadows to worry about the angry pro-Trump mob approaching the US Capitol Building on 6 January
Hutchinson, a 25-year-old former White House aide who worked under Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the attack, told the Jan. 6 House Committee about the behavior of President Donald Trump and Meadows during the MAGA riots.
She said she was “frustrated” by her own boss’s ambivalence — even pointing out to Meadows that one of his close friends, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, was probably still in the Capitol when the angry mob approached.
“I remember thinking at that moment, Mark has to get out of here and I don’t know how to get him out. He needs to take care of it,” she told the House committee.
“And I just blurted out, ‘Do you know where Jim is now?’ she said. “And that’s when he looked up at me. “Jim?” I said Mark, he was on the floor a while ago giving a speech, did you listen? … Do you know where he is now?’
Hutchinson said she encouraged Meadows to check in to Jordan.
“And I remember pointing at the TV and saying, ‘The rioters are getting closer. Maybe they’ll come in,” she said. “He looked at me and said something like, ‘Okay, I’ll call him.'”
She told lawmakers it was like watching “a major car accident that’s about to happen, where you can’t stop it, but you want to be able to do something.”
Hutchinson also said in her recorded statement that Ivanka Trump, along with other White House officials, had tried to get the president to call off the attack, hours before releasing a video statement.
During the hearing, Hutchinson also recalled an impromptu meeting on Jan. 6 after Trump returned to the White House after speaking on the Ellipse she had with former Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel, Trump’s chief of security.
“Did you hear what happened in the Beast?” she said that Engel had asked her.
She replied that she had not heard.
“Tony told me that when the president came into The Beast, he had the impression of Mr. Meadows that the off-the-record move to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen, but that Bobby had more information,” Hutchinson said. .
Trump, Hutchinson said, thought they were going to the Capitol — as he’d told his crowd of supporters he would.
This was in the hours before the attack.
“Once Bobby passed it on, we’re not, we don’t have the resources to do it, it’s not safe, we’re going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong, very angry response,” Hutchinson continued.
She was told Trump said something like, “I’m the effing president, take me to the Capitol now!”
Engel, she said, repeated that they were going back to the White House.
The President reached to the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel, Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the wheel, we’re going back to the West Wing’ We’re not going to the Capitol ‘, she said.
‘Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge at Bobby Engel, and when Mr. Ornato told me this story, he gestured to his collarbones,” Hutchinson said, signaling the president was going to Engels throat.
GOP representative Liz Cheney then asked Hutchinson if Engel or Ornato had ever changed their stories.
“Neither Mr. Ornato or Mr. Engel ever told me it wasn’t true,” Hutchinson testified.
From there, Hutchinson spoke of Trump throwing plates when served with bad news.
She said she “heard some noise” shortly after the Associated Press article appeared in which Barr confirmed that Trump’s widespread allegations of voter fraud were not real.
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was summoned to Trump’s office.
When Meadows returned, Hutchinson said she was walking into the White House dining room.
“And I saw that the door was open and the servant in the dining room was changing the tablecloth on the dining table,” she said. “He motioned for me to come in, then pointed to the front of the room by the mantelpiece and TV.”
“Where I first saw ketchup dripping down the wall,” she continued. “And there’s a shattered china plate on the floor.”
“The clerk said the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and threw his lunch against the wall,” she said, explaining that she then helped clean up.
Cheney then asked Hutchinson if this was typical Trump behavior.
“During my tenure with the chief of staff, I was aware several times that he was throwing plates or wiping the tablecloth to make the entire contents of the table fall to the floor and probably break or break everywhere,” it reported. Hutchinson as a volunteer. †