Stephanie Grisham, who previously served as the top aide to former first lady Melania Trump, has since betrayed that prior trust and accused her former boss of refusing to condemn the violence that occurred during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021, despite allegedly being offered a chance to do so.
The former first lady has now fired back, though, and accused her former top aide of having “abandoned her post” and a “dereliction of duty” for not informing her of what was happening on that fateful day, Breitbart reported.
Trump further insisted that she had been working on Jan. 6 and was “unaware” of the ongoing Capitol riot, but noted that if she’d been “fully informed” of what was happening then she would have “immediately denounced the violence” that had occurred.
Former first lady accused of ignoring violent riot
On June 28, following testimony from a former White House aide before the partisan House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Grisham posted to social media what she claimed to be a screenshot of a text exchange in which Melania Trump declined to issue a statement of condemnation against the violence.
“Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?” Grisham wrote to a recipient labeled as “MT.” That person simply replied, “No.”
However, Trump herself has now issued an official statement that presented her side of the story and questioned the credibility and motives of her once-loyal former chief of staff and spokeswoman.
Melania sets record straight
In that statement, Trump revealed that she was “fulfilling one of my duties” as the first lady on Jan. 6, 2021, and thus was “unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the US Capitol building.”
That duty was revealed to be a required and organized effort to fully document and archive the interior of the White House with a team of professionals that had been planned for months in advance.
As for her former aide, Trump said, “I have always been very supportive of my former Chief of Staff, Stephanie Grisham. I stood behind Miss Grisham after her failed stint as White House Press Secretary and welcomed her back to the East Wing.”
“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,” she continued. “Traditionally, the First Lady’s Chief of Staff provides detailed briefings surrounding our Nation’s important issues. 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. It is evident that Grisham’s recent betrayals are a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate her ruined career and reputation,” Trump said. “I always condemn violence. Had I been fully informed of all the details, naturally, I would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building.”
“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,” the former first lady added.