5 things about Melania Trump revealed in Stephanie Grisham’s new book
Grisham worked both as communications director and chief of staff for Melania Trump, and her recounting of those experiences – from deciphering the Trump marriage to Melania Trump’s relationship with her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump; his somewhat lazy work ethic; and penchant for photo albums – reveals new insight into the mind of Melania Trump.
In a statement provided to CNN earlier this week, Donald Trump said, “Too bad the squalid bag publishers keep reporting this very annoying garbage. We and the MAGA movement are totally used to it. And someday, in the not too distant future, we will. get our voice back and be treated fairly by the press. “
His spokesperson, Liz Harrington, added: “This book is another pitiful attempt to leverage the president’s strength and sell lies about the Trump family.”
CNN has reached out to Melania Trump’s office for comment on Grisham’s book.
In a statement to the Washington Post, which reported details of the book Tuesday morning, Melania Trump’s office tore Grisham apart.
Melania Trump, like Donald Trump, obsessively reads her own press
Melania Trump has often appeared in public as the first lady without much indication of what she is thinking or revealing, aside from her stoic and – at times – unsmiling face. It felt like she really didn’t care, nor could she be disturbed, what the American public – and especially the media – thought of her.
According to Grisham, however, this was not the case.
Melania Trump liked to read everything that was written on her, consistently and frequently. “Like her husband and all of her children, Ms. Trump has scrutinized her newspaper clippings like an expert architect focusing on blueprints,” Grisham writes. “No detail was overlooked, nothing was missed. She set up Google Alerts for herself and saw it all.”
As a spokesperson, Grisham received several texts a day from the First Lady, many of them on how to respond – or not respond, more precisely – to a global media obsessed with understanding the mysterious and elusive first lady.
Melania Trump, aka “Rapunzel”, was absent
Grisham also writes with experience about the lack of office time with his boss. Not in terms of a one-on-one with Melania Trump in the East Wing, but in terms of Melania Trump actually being in the East Wing offices.
Grisham says she remembers seeing her boss in the spacious office suite designated for the first lady only “a handful of times” in the four years she worked in the White House.
“Ms. Trump worked from home long before the country,” Grisham says, jokingly referring to the remote working habits of most Americans during the Covid era. “When warranted, we had face-to-face meetings, but these usually took place in the card room in front of the residence elevators. There, we planned schedules, answered urgent questions and discussed goals. the first lady remained in her rooms in the residence. “
Grisham says that Melania Trump was so often confined in the executive residence that the Secret Service gave her the nickname “Rapunzel”, “because she stayed in her tower, and never got down.”
Melania Trump spent a lot of time, Grisham writes, on “personal care,” which included many hours of sleep. (Grisham says East Wing staff rarely heard from their boss before 10 a.m. most of the time.)
“She believed relaxation was at the heart of her beauty regimen, as were, of course, spa treatments and facials,” Grisham writes.
Grisham also says that Trump’s main “job” that the public did not see during her years in the White House was the hours and hours she devoted to copious and detailed photo albums. Grisham says hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs from her time in the White House have been reviewed, categorized and carefully placed in albums – the preservation of which is a long-standing hobby of the former first lady.
Melania Trump called Ivanka Trump a ‘princess’
According to Grisham’s book, there is no love lost between Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, the two most important women in Donald Trump’s life.
While the breakup has been kept mostly out of public view, Grisham writes that behind the scenes there was tension between the two, often due to Ivanka Trump’s desire to be in the spotlight at the time. at public events and during trips abroad. Grisham writes that once she realized the awkward relationship, Melania Trump gave her the nickname she liked to call her behind her back: the princess. (Grisham in turn told the former first lady the nickname many White House staff had given to Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner: “the interns.”)
In particular, when Ivanka Trump wanted to interfere in Trump’s visit to the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace, according to Grisham, Melania Trump put her foot down and insisted that Ivanka and Jared not be in the spotlight. Instead, the two were pictured watching from the windows inside Buckingham Palace as Melania Trump laughed and held court with the Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Melania Trump was mad about the alleged cases that broke the news cycle
“I felt Mrs. Trump was embarrassed and that she wanted him to feel embarrassed too. Whether he was able or not, I don’t know,” Grisham wrote of the Daniels episode, which she said , led to an emboldened and more assertive Melania Trump.
“I got a call from her to let me know she wanted to drive Air Force One before her husband. She surprised me by saying ‘I don’t want to be like Hillary Clinton, you get what I want say? She walked over to Marine One holding her husband’s hand after the news from Monica and it didn’t look right, “referring to Monica Lewinsky. I didn’t argue,” writes Grisham, who has helped organize logistics to facilitate Trump’s request.
Additionally, Grisham and another member of staff spent time “shopping” in the White House military office “for a handsome assistant” to accompany the First Lady to the State of the Union, to the asks Melania Trump. “Mrs Trump called to let me know that she wanted one of our military assistants to escort her around the Capitol because ‘the floors were so slippery,'” writes Grisham, who felt the request was a ruse. for Trump to be seen with a handsome young man in uniform – a visual likely to upset her husband. “I laughed at myself because I had seen the woman walk down dirt roads with her heels on.”
Melania Trump and the jacket
In short, Grisham doesn’t really explain why the former first lady chose to wear the jacket on the trip to – and from – Texas, writing that she was as in the dark as everyone else about the decision. by Melania Trump. However, Grisham says she didn’t think Melania Trump understood or cared about the overwhelming criticism she was receiving because she wore a jacket with such a grossly callous message while also shedding light on a cause so deeply concerning for the country at the time. .
Grisham says that after images of the jacket were released to the press, as the first lady returned from Texas to Washington, she and Melania Trump huddled in her private cabin on the plane, trying to find a way to distract from the media. Grisham writes at one point in the conversation, Melania Trump suggests putting a circle with a line above the ‘don’ts’ part of the message on the jacket – ostensibly transforming it into ‘I really care’ – then claiming that the press had misread it.
Grisham dissuaded him from this idea.
When the first lady and Grisham returned to the White House, bad press followed, and the then president was apparently not happy about it. “
The boss was in a bad mood, which of course I could appreciate, ”Grisham wrote of being called to the President’s private dining room in the West Wing, where he was waiting for them. “He looked at his wife and then at us with annoyance. The first words out of the president’s mouth were “What the hell were you thinking?” “”
Grisham writes: “To my surprise, Mrs. Trump sat in the chair next to him on the right (still wearing that damn jacket, by the way) and smiled.”