Trump staffers sought refuge on second floor of White House as former president never climbed stairs

Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller worked in the upstairs section of the West Wing

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 28 June 2021 19:53
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Trump administration staffers sought refuge on the second floor of White House as the former president never climbed stairs, a new book claims.

The former president’s aides, such as Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller, chose to work out of a second-floor office to ensure separation from their boss, according to Michael Wolff.

Wolff writes in the forthcoming Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency that it “meant a degree of exclusion but also protection” as “Trump would never climb the stairs (and, by the end of his term, he never had)”.

An excerpt of Wolff’s book was published in New York Magazine on Monday.

It is not the first time that the White House stairs have been discussed as an issue for the one-term president.

In January 2017 The Washington Post predicted that it was unlikely Mr Trump would ever go to that area of the executive mansion.

“Though Conway took over the workspace previously occupied by Valerie Jarrett, who had been Obama’s closest adviser, the confidant dismissively predicted that Trump would rarely climb a flight of stairs,” wrote the newspaper.

Mr Trump appeared to struggle walking down a ramp at New York’s West Point Military Academy in June 2020, which he repeatedly defended himself over.

”I had an instance where on a slippery, slippery ramp, a piece of steel, very steep and very long railings...and it was pouring at West Point,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

“The last thing I want to do is go down because when Gerald Ford went down and it was not good.”

And in 2017, Mr Trump grabbed then UK prime minister Theresa May’s hand as they walked down stairs at the White House.

Despite suggestions that Mr Trump was afraid of stairs, Ms May told reporters she believed he was “actually being a gentleman”.

Wolff’s book Landslide will be published by Henry Holt & Co on 27 July.

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