Former first lady Melania Trump denies alleged refusal to condemn Capitol riot, claims she was working and unaware of violence

The partisan House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 has clearly attempted to establish that former President Donald Trump, as well as those around him, deliberately incited the unrest and did nothing to prevent it from continuing.

Former first lady Melania Trump has even been implicated in the alleged wrongdoing of that day, but she just claimed that she had been “unaware” of the riot as it transpired and would have immediately condemned the violence if she had been informed of the incident, Axios reported.

Trump explained that she had been busy with photographers taking archival photos of the White House while the riot at the Capitol building transpired, and disputed a claim from her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, that she had refused to issue a statement of condemnation while the unrest was still ongoing.

The first lady was working during the Capitol riot, unaware of what was happening

Those remarks from the former first lady came during a recent exclusive interview with Fox News, in which she said, “On January 6, 2021, I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building.”

“As with all First Ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House’s historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations,” she continued. “Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution. As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation.”

Trump added of the effort, “this is a very significant undertaking and requires great care, attention to detail, and concentration — both in the planning and execution.”

Grisham claims Trump refused to condemn the violent Capitol riot

However, according to The Hill in late June, Grisham had claimed in an interview with CNN at that time that she had asked the then-first lady to issue a statement of condemnation against the violence but was rejected.

Grisham shared with the public — and provided to the House committee — a purported exchange of text messages with Trump on Jan. 6 during the riot in which she wrote, “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?” but received a simple “No” in reply from the first lady.

“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,” Grisham told CNN of Trump. Then, in reference to the testimony delivered by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Grisham added, “Yesterday, hearing Cassidy’s testimony, I felt compelled to show that 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.'”

Trump says she would have condemned violence if she’d been briefed on riot

In the interview with Fox News, though, Trump took several shots at her former chief aide Grisham — who has become highly critical of both Trump’s since leaving the White House — and essentially accused Grisham of “betrayal” as part of “a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate her ruined career and reputation.”

“Ms. Grisham was not in the White House on January 6, and her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty,” Trump said and noted that, had Grisham been present, she would have briefed the first lady on what was happening. Trump added, “In fact, Ms. Grisham failed to provide insight and information into the events surrounding January 6 as she had abandoned her post in Washington, D.C. Shamefully, this behavior has only partially become public knowledge; yet was consistent for Ms. Grisham.”

“Had I been fully informed of all the details, naturally, I would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building,” Trump said. “And while Ms. Grisham’s behavior is disappointing, it is not surprising or an isolated incident. This is not the first time a former staffer has tried to maintain relevancy and profit by using my name to create a false narrative.”

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