Ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham warns Trump will seek ‘revenge’ if he wins in 2024

Unfettered by need to seek reelection, Trump could implement ‘draconian policies’ if back at White House

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Monday 04 October 2021 19:14
Stephanie Grisham warns that Trump will seek revenge if reelected
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Ahead of the release of her White House memoir, former press secretary Stephanie Grisham has warned that Donald Trump will seek “revenge” if he runs again and wins the 2024 election.

Ms Grisham told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that the former president would implement “pretty draconian policies” across the federal government if he returns to power – no longer held back by the need to seek reelection.

“I want to just warn people that once he takes office if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about reelection anymore,” she added. “He will be about revenge. He will probably have some pretty draconian policies that go on.”

She told Mr Stephanopoulos that “there were conversations a lot of times” between Trump administration officials in which “people would say, ‘That’ll be the second term. That’ll be the second term.’ Meaning, we won’t have to worry about reelection.”

In addition to her time as press secretary, Ms Grisham also served as White House communications director and former first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary.

Ms Grisham’s book paints a particularly unflattering portrait of the Trumps and the administration, to whom she previously appeared to be a loyal confidante at the centre of White House life.

She now says she wants to “in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviors within the [Trump] White House because it does look like he’s going to try to run in 2024”.

During her nine months as press secretary, Ms Grisham never held a press conference, a decision she also revealed that came directly from the president.

“When we discussed me taking the job, [Trump] had already suspended the briefings for about six months under Sarah [Huckabee Sanders], and he said he didn’t think we needed any more briefings,” Ms Grisham said.

“He spoke to the press two or three times a day directly, so then my job was going to be to work more behind the scenes with print, with regional and local [media].”

Ms Grisham resigned from the first lady’s office on 6 January after the violent insurrection at the US Capitol.

A statement released on Monday by the office of the former first lady says: “The author is desperately trying to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation by manipulating and distorting the truth about Mrs Trump. Ms Grisham is a deceitful and troubled individual who doesn’t deserve anyone’s trust.”

Mr Trump released a statement through his spokesperson in late September concerning the book and its many allegations regarding life in the White House.

“Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning. She became very angry and bitter after her break up and as time went on she was seldom relied upon, or even thought about. She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself,” the former president said.

“Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things,” he continued. “Too bad that sleaze bag publishers continue to report this very boring garbage. We and the MAGA movement are totally used to it. And someday in the not too distant future we will have our voice back and be treated fairly by the press.”

Mr Trump has not confirmed whether he will run again in 2024, but he continues to tease that he may well, including in a radio interview over the weekend in which he said he would beat Florida governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican Party nomination.

When pressed by Mr Staphanopoulos in Monday’s interview as to whether it was a mistake to work for President Trump, Ms Grisham responded that it was.

Her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, is released on Tuesday.

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