- Stephanie Grisham explained to Insider she didn’t speak out when she resigned on January 6.
- “At that point, one person had died,” she said, referring to rioter Ashli Babbitt.
- “I honestly felt like it would have been cheap of me or self-serving of me,” Grisham told Insider.
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham didn’t speak out upon resigning from the White House because she thought it would be “cheap” and “self-serving” in the wake of a person dying on January 6, she told Insider in a Friday interview.
Grisham, who was then former First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and top spokeswoman, just released a new tell-all memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” about her time in the White House.
She told Insider that she had been “done” with the White House for “about six months” but finally resigned over the events of January 6, when a pro-Trump mob overtook the US Capitol to stop Congress from affirming then-President Donald Trump’s Electoral College loss.
“On January 6th, it wasn’t as much about the election being stolen for me as watching people desecrate our Capitol and burn it and people were dying and the president was doing nothing to try and stop up it,” Grisham told Insider in a Friday interview when asked why she didn’t forcefully denounce the lie driving the rioters that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
Grisham “said she actually did talk to a couple of reporters about kind of speaking up.” One of them was New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, who recalled trying to convince her to publicly announce her resignation in a recent profile of Grisham. CNN eventually broke the news of her departure.
“But at that point, one person had died, and I honestly felt like it would have been cheap of me or self-serving of me to be talking about stuff like that when somebody had died,” she said, referring to rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a law enforcement officer while trying to break through the glass window of the Speaker’s Lobby. “So that was why I thought I would just kind of wait and take my time.”
When asked why she didn’t address the riot in the months that followed, Grisham cited both the terms of her book deal and her need to disappear from the spotlight to decompress after years in the White House and Trumpworld.
“I just needed some time to be deprogrammed, and calm, and quiet, and just figure out, you know, where I stood on a lot of things,” she told Insider.
“And then I knew I was going to be writing the book and I was put under a pretty heavy NDA gag order with my publisher with the knowledge though that I was going to be coming out very strong and not only talking about the fact that this election wasn’t stolen, but what to me now is important, what I’m focusing on, is 2022 and 2024,” she added. “And the damage – if people think 2016 administration was bad, I just don’t think people understand what a 2024 admin would look like.”
Grisham said she isn’t thinking about work right now, but told Insider she eventually wants to help stop Trump from running again in 2024.
“I still am kind of healing from the whole process and I am still really enjoying kind of reconnecting with family and friends. 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,” she said.
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