Melania Trump’s chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds worried that the Trump family were “going to look like the Beverly Hillbillies” and would “be an embarrassment to the whole country” as the former first family visited Queen Elizabeth II to attend a state dinner in London in 2019.
Ms Reynolds made the remarks to her successor in the chief of staff role, Stephanie Grisham, who revealed the episode in her book I’ll Take Your Questions Now, which was published on Tuesday.
Ms Grisham served as a campaign aide on the 2016 Trump campaign. She went on to service as press secretary for the first lady and ultimately the whole White House before returning to work for Melania Trump as her chief of staff and spokesperson.
Ms Grisham wrote that working in the Trump White House was like being in a “clown car on fire running at full speed into a warehouse full of fireworks”.
Ms Grisham also alleges that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner tried to get into the meeting with the Queen along with then-President Donald Trump and the first lady during their UK visit in 2019. They were finally held back as they couldn’t fit in the helicopter.
The Washington Post reported that it would have been a “wild breach of protocol”.
“I finally figured out what was going on,” Ms Grisham wrote. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”
Ms Grisham also alleges in her book that Ivanka Trump was referred to as “The Princess” by White House staff and often spoke about “my father” in meetings. The former Trump aide nicknamed Mr Kushner “the Slim Reaper” because he managed to get involved in the projects of others, screw them up, and blame someone else for the mishap.
“In early June 2019, President and Mrs Trump were invited to a state dinner in the United Kingdom hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. All of us at the senior staff level would get to attend as well,” Ms Grisham wrote.
“We were all beyond excited, but none more than the Trump children,” she added.
“It was the only trip in all four years that every single member of the family expected to attend ... All of them wanted seats at the state dinner that the queen would be hosting, as well as the dinner at Winfield House, the US ambassador's residence,” she wrote, adding that “everyone began manoeuvering almost immediately”.
She wrote that the trip was a “good example” of “the complications caused by Jared and Ivanka’s various ideas and requests”.
“With seating and accommodations so tight, ‘the interns’ used their role as family members to intimidate those in the advance and travel offices to allow them to have their own staff accompany them,” she added.
Ms Reynolds had “dreamed of meeting the queen since forever”, according to Ms Grisham, and “she was hell-bent on making sure the Trump kids didn’t ruin it for her just so they could be ‘seen’. In particular, it seemed that she intended to move heaven and earth to keep the kids off of Air Force One”.
“We are going to look like the Beverly Hillbillies,” she told Ms Grisham. “We’ll be an embarrassment to the whole country.”
Ms Reynolds managed to keep the Trump children off Air Force One, prompting an outburst from Mr Trump that his kids were “flying on a commercial plane right now”.
“As if that was the greatest burden any person ever had to bear,” Ms Grisham noted.
Mr Trump told Ms Reynolds to never “f*** with his kids again”.
“He let it be known that if anything else went wrong with his children on that trip, Lindsay would not be coming back to the United States with us. She was on his s*** list for a long while after that and I felt terrible for her,” Ms Grisham added.
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