Melania Trump has again slammed her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, just as the ex-aide claims Donald Trump “behaved inappropriately” toward a young female staffer at the White House.
The author is desperately trying to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation by manipulating and distorting the truth about Mrs Trump,” the former first lady said in a statement yesterday.
“Ms Grisham is a deceitful and troubled individual who doesn’t deserve anyone’s trust.”
On the same morning, ABC News published an exclusive interview in which Ms Grisham discussed the “unusual interest” Mr Trump allegedly took in a female staffer.
Ms Grisham said she tried to keep the young woman away from the former president, but there was little more she could do to protect her.
“I don’t know if I could have,” she told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “There’s not an HR department at the White House.” Mr Stephanopoulos replied that she could have told her concerns to the White House chief of staff.
“I didn’t feel comfortable talking to Mark Meadows,” Ms Grisham said. “I don’t believe he would have done anything. So I did the best I could, in terms of never letting her be alone with him in the cabin [of Air Force One]. I tried to keep her off trips as often as I could. I did the best I could, I think, in that environment.”
The new interview came only a day before the publication of Ms Grisham’s book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House.
Among other claims, the memoir says Mr Trump obsessed over the shape of his penis, listened to show-tunes to calm his rage and warned Vladimir Putin when he was about to “act a little tougher” with him “for the cameras”.
Both Mr and Ms Trump have vehemently denied Ms Grisham’s allegations.
“Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning,” Mr Trump said in a statement tweeted out by his spokeswoman, Liz Harrington. “Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things.
“Too bad that sleaze-bag publishers continue to report this very boring garbage.”
Ms Grisham held a number of posts during her time in the White House, where – unlike many of her colleagues – she lasted almost all the way through Mr Trump’s term.
Over four years, she served as White House press secretary, communications director, and the first lady’s chief of staff. She resigned on January 6, after the Capitol riot.
Mr Stephanopoulos asked the former press secretary if she had been enabling a culture of dishonesty at the White House. “Yes, I was,” Ms Grisham replied. “And I’ve reflected on that and I regret that… I now want to, in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviours within the White House because it does look like he’s going to try to run in 2024.”
In a separate development, a December 23 deadline has been set for Mr Trump to undergo questioning in a former Apprentice contestant’s defamation lawsuit over what he said in denying her sexual assault allegations, a court said. The new deadline for Mr Trump’s deposition – a legal term for out-of-court, pretrial questioning under oath – comes as Summer Zervos’ 2017 lawsuit emerges from a more than yearlong freeze.
“The defendant is now a private citizen, and he just cannot delay this litigation any longer,” Ms Zervos’ attorney Moira Penza told the Manhattan judge’s law clerk.
Then-president Trump was weeks away from a January 2020 deposition deadline when he won a delay to ask the New York’s top court to consider holding off the case entirely until he was out of office. He argued that sitting presidents could not be sued in state courts.
After he left office this year, the state high court said the question was moot. The case returned to a Manhattan trial court for both sides to continue gathering evidence.
Ms Zervos said Mr Trump subjected her to unwanted kissing and groping during what she thought would be career-advice meetings in 2007 at his New York office and at a California hotel where he was staying. He denied her allegations. (© Independent News Service)