Trump held ‘secret meetings’ before 6 January, says former press secretary

Stephanie Grisham told the 6 January Committee that off-the-books meetings were organised by the former president in the lead up to the insurrection

Jade Bremner
Thursday 20 January 2022 14:35
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Joe Biden puts blame on Trump’s ‘big lie’ for ‘violent insurrection’
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Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot that Donald Trump held secret meetings in the White House in the days before the 6 January attack, reports say.

Ms Grisham, who resigned from her role as Melania Trump’s chief of staff in the wake of the riots, told the committee the meetings were only known about by a select group of aides, and were predominantly organised by the former chief of staff Mark Meadows and the former chief usher Timothy Harleth,The Guardian reported.

Noting that she didn’t know who Mr Trump was consulting with during the secret meetings, Ms Grisham, who was White House press secretary between July 2019 to April 2020, identified the aides who were present and would know. It is not yet known what was discussed in the meetings.

Ms Grisham has released a bombshell book I'll Take Your Questions Now about working at the White House, stating that she was “part of something unusually evil”. She has previously said to CNN that she didn’t vote for Mr Trump in 2020.

More than 60 subpoenas have been issued by the 6 January Committee, which “is seeking facts about the planning, coordination, and funding of events that preceded the violent attack on our democracy”, said Mississippi Representative and Chairman of the Committee Bennie Thompson in a statement.

Trump aides subpoenaed include former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon, former United States Attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Trump's son Eric.

“The committee will continue to push forward to get answers for the American people and help ensure nothing like 6 January ever happens again,” said Mr Thompson.

A mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on 6 January after a “Save America” rally. “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” said Mr Trump in his speech before the insurrection, in which five people lost their lives.

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