Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that it was a mistake ever to work for former President Donald Trump, and that she regrets enabling a culture of dishonesty at the White House.
“I’ve reflected on that and I regret that,” Grisham told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos during an appearance to promote her new book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” about her time in the Trump administration. “Especially now when watching him, and so many people, push the false election narrative. I now want to, in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviors within the White House, because it does look like he’s going to try to run in 2024.”
Trump has continued to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Last month, a GOP-led audit of votes cast in Arizona’s largest county found no evidence of widespread fraud, voting irregularities or miscounted ballots.
Grisham said she wants to “warn people” that if Trump returns to the White House, he will seek revenge against those who voted for his impeachment.
“He doesn’t have to worry about re-election anymore. He will be about revenge,” she said, adding that a reinstated Trump might also pursue extreme and “draconian” policies, based on some of the things she heard while in office with him.
“There were some conversations, a lot of the time, where people would say, ‘That will be the second term’ … meaning, we won’t have to worry about a re-election,” she said.
Grisham spent years working with Trump, first serving as an aide to him during his 2016 presidential campaign, and later moving on to press secretary and then chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump. She was the first press secretary in the nation’s history never to hold a press conference, which she said was by Trump’s instruction. It wasn’t until after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol ― just two weeks before the end of Trump’s term ― that Grisham resigned.
When Stephanopoulos asked Grisham why ― if she now regrets her actions so much ― it took her so long to resign, Grisham said she initially felt out of the loop about the wrongdoing taking place behind the scenes. She admitted that she was also enthralled by Trump’s energy and popularity.
“I do believe he gave voice to a lot of people who did feel forgotten, but I think that many of us, myself included, got into that White House, and got heavy with power,” she said. “We didn’t think about serving the country anymore. It was about surviving.”
At the time of her resignation, Grisham called it “an honor” to have served in the White House, and said she was “very proud” to have been part of Melania Trump’s work with children. Though she resigned on Jan. 6, Grisham did not cite the day’s violence by Trump supporters as the reason for her decision.
Grisham has since compared Melania Trump to the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette, saying that on the day of the deadly violence at the Capitol, the first lady was more interested in a photo shoot for a rug.
Donald and Melania Trump, for their part, have both spoken out against Grisham. The former president accused her last month of being paid to say “bad and untrue things.”
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