(Trends Wide) — During her five years working in various roles as a senior adviser to Donald and Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham had perhaps the most intimate point of view of her time in the White House.
Grisham describes those findings in detail in his forthcoming memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now.” The book, of which Trends Wide obtained an advance copy and will be published on Tuesday, also reveals her take on the former first lady, widely recognized as the most private and least known of all in modern American political history.
Grisham served as communications director and chief of staff for Melania Trump, and her account of those experiences — from deciphering the Trump marriage, to Melania Trump’s relationship with her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump; his somewhat carefree work ethic; and her fondness for photo albums — reveals a new insight into Melania Trump’s mind.
In a statement provided to Trends Wide earlier this week, Donald Trump said: “Too bad the shameless editors keep reporting this boring crap. We and the MAGA movement are totally used to it. And someday, in the not-so-future future. far away, we will regain our voice and the press will treat us fairly. “
His spokeswoman, Liz Harrington, added: “This book is another regrettable attempt to capitalize on the president’s strength and sell lies about the Trump family.”
Trends Wide 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 trashed Grisham.
“The intent behind this book is obvious,” Melania Trump’s office said in its statement to the Post. “It is an attempt to redeem herself after poor performance as a press secretary, failed personal relationships and unprofessional behavior in the White House. Through falsehood and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump.”
Melania Trump, like Donald Trump, obsessively reads her own press
Melania Trump often appeared in public as first lady without much hint of what she was thinking or revealing, other than her stoic and – sometimes – serious face. She had the impression that she really did not care, nor could she be bothered, what the American public – and in particular the media – thought about her.
However, according to Grisham, that was not the case.
Melania Trump was a fan of reading everything that was written about her, consistently and frequently. “Like her husband and all of her children, Ms. Trump scrutinized her press clippings like a skilled architect who focuses on blueprints,” Grisham writes. “She didn’t miss a thing, she didn’t miss a thing. She had Google alerts set up for her and she saw it all.”
As her spokesperson, Grisham was receiving multiple text messages during First Lady’s Day, many about how to respond – or not respond, more accurately – to a global news outlet obsessed with understanding the mysterious and elusive First Lady.
Melania Trump, aka “Rapunzel”, was out of the office
Grisham also writes with experience about her boss’s absence from the office. Not in terms of being one-on-one with Melania Trump on the east wing, but in terms of Melania Trump not really being in the east wing offices.
Grisham says she remembers seeing her boss in the spacious suite that was designated for the first lady only “a handful of times” during the four years she served in the White House.
“Mrs. Trump was working from home long before the country did,” says Grisham, jokingly referencing the remote work habits of most Americans during the COVID-19 era. “When it was assured, we had in-person meetings, but they were usually held in the map room in front of the elevators to the residence. There we would plan schedules, respond to urgent inquiries, and discuss objectives. Other than that, the first lady stayed in her rooms at the residence. “
Grisham says Melania Trump was so frequently abducted from the executive residence that the Secret Service gave her the nickname “Rapunzel” “because she remained in her tower, never descending.”
Melania Trump spent a lot of time, Grisham writes, on her “personal care,” which included many hours of sleep. (Grisham says east wing staff rarely heard from their boss before 10 am on most days.)
“She believed that relaxation was central to one’s beauty regimen, as were, of course, spa and facial treatments,” Grisham writes.
The author also says that the main “work” of Trump that the public did not see during his years in the White House were the hours and hours he devoted to his abundant and detailed photo albums. Grisham says that hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs from her time in the White House were analyzed, categorized and carefully placed in albums, the maintenance of which is a hobby of the former first lady.
Melania Trump called Ivanka Trump “the 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 gap was mostly kept out of the public eye, Grisham writes that behind the scenes there was tension between the two, often due to Ivanka Trump’s desire to be in the limelight at public events and trips abroad. Grisham writes that once she realized the delicate 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 members had given Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner: “the interns.”)
Melania Trump’s anger towards her stepdaughter often flared during trips abroad, Grisham writes, mainly because the former first lady was a student of protocol and rigorous in respecting the traditions in each country that were reserved only for a president and a first. spouse, not the daughter of a president and her husband.
In particular, when Ivanka Trump wanted to participate 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 limelight. Instead, the two were photographed looking from the windows inside Buckingham Palace as Melania Trump laughed and met with the Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Melania Trump was angered by the alleged issues that broke the news cycle
Although reported by Trends Wide at the time, the White House never confirmed in the record that Melania Trump took a separate caravan from her husband’s to go to the 2018 State of the Union address and to Joint Base Andrews to go on a trip, because She was angered by Donald Trump’s alleged behavior around allegations of infidelity by porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen MacDougal.
In her book, Grisham writes that Melania Trump was upset, and that her anger led her to publicly distance herself from her husband. Melania Trump was not interested in being seen as a political wife who was trying to save her husband from harmful headlines; according to Grisham, it was the opposite.
“I felt that Mrs. Trump was embarrassed, and that I wanted him to feel ashamed too. I don’t know if he’s capable of that or not,” Grisham writes of the Daniels episode, which, according to her, resulted in a Melania Trump emboldened and more assertive.
“I got a call from her to inform me that she wanted to drive to Air Force One before her husband. She surprised me and said, ‘I don’t want to be like Hillary Clinton, do you understand what I mean? She walked up to Marine One hand in hand with her husband after Monica’s news and he didn’t look good, ‘referring to Monica Lewinsky. I didn’t argue, “writes Grisham, who helped organize logistics to facilitate Trump’s request.
Additionally, Grisham and another staff member spent time “shopping” at the White House military office “to find an attractive assistant” to accompany the first lady to the State of the Union, at the request of Melania Trump. “Ms. Trump called to let me know that she wanted one of our military aides to escort her around the Capitol because ‘the floors were very slippery,'” writes Grisham, who felt the request was a ruse to get Trump seen with a handsome, uniformed young man, an image that would likely irritate her husband. “I laughed to myself because I had seen the woman walk on dirt roads in her heels.”
Melania Trump and the jacket
Grisham spends a lot of time – an entire chapter in his book – figuring out the incident with “the jacket,” the infamous green garment stamped on the back with the words “I really don’t care. You?” that Melania Trump used to visit an immigration detention center in Texas.
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 like everyone else unaware of Melania Trump’s decision.
Yet Grisham says she didn’t think Melania Trump understood, or cared about, the immense criticism she received for wearing a jacket with such a grossly insensitive message while shedding light on such a deeply troubling cause for the country at the time.
Grisham says that once images of the jacket hit the press, as the first lady flew back to Washington from Texas, she and Melania Trump huddled in their private cabin on the plane, trying to find a way to divert the media attention. Grisham writes at one point in the conversation, Melania Trump suggests putting a circle with a line over the “no” part of the message on the jacket, apparently making it “I really care,” and then claiming that the press had misread it.
Grisham dissuaded her from that idea.
When the first lady and Grisham returned to the White House, the bad press followed, and the then-president was apparently unhappy about it.
“The boss was in a bad mood, which, of course, I can appreciate,” Grisham writes about being called into 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 that came 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 in that damn jacket, by the way) and smiled.”