Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday she released Melania Trump’s blunt text refusing to condemn January 6 violence because Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony made her believe the former first lady knew of broader plans.
‘It just made me think she knew something,’ said Grisham, Melania Trump’s former chief of staff. ‘It made me think she knew that perhaps her husband was going to try to be down there, she knew something ahead of time.’
Grisham, who also served as White House press secretary, said she didn’t know this for a fact.
‘But, again, knowing her as well as I did at that point, it was so unlike her to not have condemned it that that was the moment it all kind of broke me – that’s what I wrote in the book – and I resigned immediately afterward,’ she said on CNN’s New Day.
Hutchinson’s blockbuster testimony – which included revelations that Trump had seriously wanted to join the MAGA mob at the Capitol – compelled Grisham to release a virual of the text ‘because it was a lot of context I thought.’
‘And, again, knowing Melania like I did I was so disappointed and discouraged and sickened that she wouldn’t stand up and just say simply there should be no violence,’ Grisham said.
On Tuesday after the January 6 hearing starring Hutchinson wrapped up, Grisham shared what appeared to be a text exchange between she and a ‘MT’ – Melania Trump – in which she asks: ‘Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence.’
‘No,’ Grisham’s texts show the first lady responded.
Stephanie Grisham (left) said on CNN Wednesday she released Melania Trump’s blunt text refusing to condemn January 6 violence because Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony made her believe the former first lady knew of broader plans
First Lady Melania Trump’s former Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham had her own receipts to show off Tuesday after Cassidy Hutchinson testified about the resistance from the president and his advisers to call off the January 6 Capitol attack
Stephanie Grisham (left) had previously detailed how that exchange with now former First Lady Melania Trump (right) compelled her to quit her job on January 6. Grisham said she finally saw the first lady as the ‘doomed French queen. Dismissive. Defeated. Detached’
Grisham had detailed this interaction with the then first lady in her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, explaining how it compelled her to leave.
She wrote that she ‘finally saw the doomed French queen. Dismissive. Defeated. Detached.’
Melania Trump was in the middle of a photoshoot, capturing some of the White House’s rugs when the Capitol was being assaulted by the pro-Trump crowd.
‘It broke me,’ Grisham wrote. ‘I took a breath and waited another minute. You learned to do that in the Trump White House: make sure you are grounded and not acting out of the moment. Then I resigned.’
‘I sent her an email and cc-ed her senior adviser so I couldn’t take it back or be talked out of it. I was done,’ Grisham said.
In January 2022, Grisham appeared in-person to speak with members of the House select committee on January 6.
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 arriving at the meeting held at the O’Neill House Office Building in Washington
Stephanie Grisham tweeted out her exchange with Melania Trump after former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson spoke of her own ‘frustration’ in getting Meadows to care about the angry pro-Trump crowd approaching the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6
Hutchinson, a 25-year-old former White House aide who was working under Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the attack, detailed some of President Donald Trump and Meadows’ behavior during the MAGA riot to the House January 6 committee.
She said she was ‘frustrated’ by her own boss’ ambivalence – even pointing out to Meadows that one of his close friends, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, was likely still in the Capitol Building as the angry crowd neared.
‘I remember thinking in that moment, Mark needs to snap out of this and I don’t know how to snap him out of this. He needs to care,’ she told the House committee.
‘And I just sort of blurted out, “Do you know where Jim’s at right now?”‘ she said. ‘And he looked up at me at that point. “Jim?” I said Mark, he was on the floor a little while ago giving a floor speech, did you listen? … Do you know where he’s at right now?’
Hutchinson said she encouraged Meadows to check in on Jordan.
‘And I remember pointing at the TV and I said, “The rioters are getting close. They might get in,”‘ she said. ‘He looked at me and said something to the effect of, “Alright I’ll give him a call.”‘
She told lawmakers it was like watching ‘a bad car accident about to happen, where you can’t stop it, but you want to be able to do something.’
Hutchinson also said in her taped deposition that Ivanka Trump, among other White House officials, had tried to get the president to call off the assault hours before he released a video statement.
During the hearing, Hutchinson also recalled an impromptu meeting on January 6 after Trump returned to the White House after speaking at the Ellipse she had with former Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s security detail.
‘Did you hear what effing happened in the Beast?’ she said Engel asked her.
She replied that she hadn’t heard.
‘Tony proceeded to tell me that when the president got in the Beast he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows that the off-the-record movement 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 up to the Capitol – like he had told his crowd of supporters he would do.
This was in the hours before the attack.
‘When Bobby had relayed to him we’re not, we don’t have the assets to do it, it’s not secure, we’re going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong, very angry response,’ Hutchinson continued.
She was told that Trump said something like: ‘I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now!’
Engel, she said, reiterated that they were headed back to the White House.
‘The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel, Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, “Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering 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 toward Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me he motioned toward his clavicles,’ Hutchinson said, as a sign the president went for Engel’s throat.
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney then asked Hutchinson if Engel or Ornato ever changed their stories.
‘Neither Mr. Ornato or Mr. Engel told me ever that it was untrue,’ Hutchinson testified.
From there, Hutchinson talked about Trump throwing dishes when being served with bad news.
She said she remembered ‘hearing noise’ on the heels of the Associated Press article being released in which Barr confirmed that Trump’s widespread election fraud claims weren’t real.
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was summoned to Trump’s office.
When Meadows returned Hutchinson said she walked down toward the White House dining room.
‘And I noticed that the door was propped open and the valet was inside the dining room changing the tablecloth off of the dining room table,’ she said. ‘He motioned for me to come in and then pointed toward the front of the room near the fireplace mantel and the TV.’
‘Where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall,’ she continued. ‘And there’s a shattered porcelain plate on the floor.’
‘The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall,’ she said, explaining that she then helped with the clean-up.
Cheney then asked Hutchinson if this was typical Trump behavior.
‘There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flicking the table cloth to let all of the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere,’ Hutchinson volunteered.