- Stephanie Grisham is “under no illusions” that she’ll be forgiven her for role in Trump’s rise.
- She told Insider in an interview that she still wants to help stop Trump from winning a 2nd term.
- “All I can do is try my best to say all that I can for 2024,” she said, adding, “I really think our country will be in danger if he takes office.”
Stephanie Grisham is “under no illusions” that the American public will forgive her for the prominent role she played in former President Donald Trump’s rise to power, but wants “to do all I can” to stop him from winning a second, she told Insider in an interview.
The former White House press secretary and chief of staff to former first lady Melania Trump joined Trumpworld as a rank-and-file press wrangler on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and spent six years rising through the ranks to be one of the few trusted aides and confidantes in Melania’s inner circle and hold the most coveted job in political communications.
Grisham spent the last year and a half living in a small town in rural Kansas, where she said she “deprogrammed” from Trumpworld, and officially left the White House on January 6. She tells-all in her new memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at The Trump White House,” about the chaos, dysfunction, and toxicity she experienced and witnessed.
Grisham said that while she’s taking a break from the political scene and not thinking about her next act professionally, half-joking that “I think people probably need to have a little break from me as well,” her mind is on upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024.
“I think that if he goes back in 2024, his first thought process is going to be revenge and retribution,” she said of Trump. “And I think he’s going to hire people with whom the vetting process won’t matter because at the end of the day, he’ll be in there, and he won’t have to run for reelection.”
Grisham told Insider that Trump’s ability to give voice to “people who felt forgotten” is what initially drew her to his campaign and made her feel good about working for him, but is now being weaponized.
“I think now as he was president and he’s watched how much power he had, and he has seen that all he has to do is say a phrase or two, that there are these thousands and thousands of people who will take him so literally and fight for him, and that’s dangerous,” Grisham said of Trump’s supporters. “There are all these people who, I think, feel such gratitude that he gave them a voice, that now they’re willing to do anything to keep that feeling of somebody is fighting for us. And I think that’s very dangerous. And I think the former president is taking advantage of it.”
“I’m going to do all I can if asked to answer questions about, you know, ‘Hey, why do you think he’s doing this? Why do you think he’s doing that?’ Because if there’s anything I do know, it’s the Trump playbook,” she added.
A Trump spokeswoman previously called the book “another pitiful attempt to cash in on the President’s strength and sell lies about the Trump family” and “full of falsehoods.”
‘If people ask me for help in any way, yes, I will be right there to do it.’
Grisham said that when fellow Republicans have privately praised her bravery, she’s responded: “well then, I really wish you would speak up too.”
“I’m just hoping that people will get a little braver and speak out against it. And like I said, it might not happen, but at least at the end of the day, I will have tried,” she said. “And I know that my part in the last four, five, six years will never be forgiven. I have no illusions that it will, but all I can do is try my best to say all that I can for 2024. And I really, really think our country will be in danger if he takes office.”
She told Insider that she is proud of the Trump administration policies she worked on and argued “there are plenty of Republicans out there who can push forward” those policies “without all the vitriol and hate and revenge motives.”
Because of Grisham’s years at the highest levels of Trumpworld and once-dogged loyalty to the Trumps, speaking out would continue to put her directly at odds with both the former president and first lady, who she says cut her off entirely after her resignation.
Both Grisham’s former employers have denounced her in harsh, personal terms, and sought to discredit her as a vengeful, disgruntled ex-employee seeking to trade in on her White House experience to cash in at their expense.
The day before the book’s publication, Melania’s office put out a statement accusing Grisham of “trying to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation by manipulating and distorting the truth,” calling her “a deceitful and troubled individual who doesn’t deserve anyone’s trust.”
And while Grisham sounded the alarm about what a second Trump term would hold, she speculated that it likely wouldn’t include two of her biggest foes in the White House and the targets of many of her grievances in the memoir: Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who served as senior advisers in the West Wing.
“Maybe I’m being an idiot and naive as usual, but I feel like Jared and Ivanka would stay out of another White House,” she said. “I just do. I think towards the end that the president was even getting a bit fed up with some of Jared’s advice. And I think that in terms of just the stress, the pressure, and their family, and they’ve moved to Florida, I kind of don’t think they would join it up again.”
Grisham laughed when asked if she envisions her next act as a Trump whisperer of sorts.
“I still am healing from the whole process and I am still really enjoying reconnecting with family and friends,” she said. “So for me, that’s still my priority, but as we get closer to 2022 and 2024, if, you know, if people ask me for help in any way, yes, I will be right there to do it.”