Ms Grisham, who also served as the first lady’s press secretary and chief of staff during her time in the White House, wrote in her book I’ll take your questions now that Melania was furious following reports of her husband’s infidelity and hush-money payments.
Both the author and Melania initially denied that the reports about former President Donald Trump’s extramarital affairs, but they had an impact on the first lady.
“After the Stormy Daniels story broke and all the allegations that followed from other women,” Ms Grisham stated in the book, an early copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. “I felt that Mrs Trump was basically unleashed.”
I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House is expected to be published on 5 October.
Ms Grisham writes that Melania then figured out ways to leave out Mr Trump from photos and social media posts. She also made sure she appeared on the arm of a good-looking military aide.
Melania reportedly told Ms Grisham that she didn’t believe the denials coming from her husband and his former fixer Michael Cohen.
“Oh, please, are you kidding me?” she said at the time. “I don’t believe any of that,” she added, using an expletive.
According to Ms Grisham, when Melania famously wore a jacket with the message “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” across the back during a visit to a camp for child migrants in Texas in June 2018, it prompted Mr Trump to ask “What the hell were you thinking?” of his wife and Ms Grisham during an Oval Office meeting.
“You just tell them you were talking to the” news media, Mr Trump told the group as he ordered an aide to tweet out the cover story.
Ms Grisham writes that as time went on, the first lady became more disengaged, claiming that she was even asleep on election night.
On the day of the Capitol riot, when a pro-Trump tried to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory on 6 January, the first lady was overseeing a photoshoot of a rug and chose not to make a public statement about the violent siege.
Ms Grisham resigned later that same day. Melania ended up taking the side of her husband – expressing doubt that the results were legitimate despite there being no evidence to support that hypothesis.
“Something bad happened,” Melania reportedly told Ms Grisham. She also declined to follow tradition and didn’t invite Dr Jill Biden, the incoming first lady, to the White House.
“She would always say, ‘Let me think about it’ or ‘Let’s see what the West Wing will do,’” Ms Grisham writes in her book, “Which meant no. And when exactly did she decide to start following the West Wing’s lead?”
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