Stephanie Grisham sorry she served under Trump, a ‘con man’ leading ‘cult-like thing’
NEW YORK — Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham apologized this week for serving in former President Donald Trump’s White House and also said she’s sorry it took her so long to realize he’s a “con man.”
Appearing on ABC talk show “The View” for the second day in a row Tuesday, Grisham was grilled by panelists including Whoopi Goldberg regarding her insight into the Jan. 6 insurrection as well as the nearly four years she served in the White House under both the first lady and the president.
Grisham said she didn’t know what was going to happen the day Trump fanatics attacked the Capitol to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election win. But knowing Trump as well as she did, and noticing he hadn’t started packing even though he was scheduled to depart the White House in a couple weeks, Grisham said she suspected “something was brewing.”
“I have to ask,” panelist Sunny Hostin said. “Why did it take an insurrection to get you to quit?”
Grisham entered the White House as first lady Melania Trump’s press secretary in March 2017. She moved to the West Wing to serve as both the White House press secretary and communications director from July 2019 through April 2020, then went back to working for the first lady until leaving altogether on Jan. 6, 2021.
“It’s a great, fair question,” Grisham replied to Hostin. “I tried to resign many times. When I got to the West Wing, I realized it was a really bad environment.”
It wasn’t until she personally witnessed then-President Trump’s words and actions, Grisham said, that she realized the Trump White House was toxic. Now, the twice-divorced 45-year-old mother of two says she’s “sorry” and has to live with knowing she “messed up” by serving in the Trump administration. But at the time, Grisham said, she’d become damaged goods with nowhere to go.
“If I were to leave, I’m a single mom who needs a job,” she confessed. “And let me tell you, no one was going hire me, good, bad or ugly, after two years, three years, four years (with the Trumps). I had to think about that.”
Now, Grisham said she wants to “educate” people on what she learned from being immersed in the former president’s world, as Trump hints that he may run for office again in 2024. She, too, supported the reality TV performer-turned-politician at one point.
“He is a con man,” she said. “It is a cult-like thing, and it is OK to just get off.”
While Grisham hopes Trump is held accountable for his efforts to stay in power after being voted out of office, she isn’t optimistic about the odds of that happening.
“I don’t know,“ she said. “He seems to get away with everything.”
Grisham told “The View” that she reached out to Melania Trump on Jan. 6 asking her to send out a tweet calling for peace. The former first lady, who was busy taking pictures of a new carpet, “just said no.”
In October, Grisham joined a long list of former Trump surrogates in releasing a book about their misadventures in the 45th president’s administration. Those authors include former national security adviser John Bolton, ex-Attorney General Bill Barr, former FBI Director James Comey and presidential assistant Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who went to prison on crimes including campaign finance violations, penned a memoir called “Disloyal” blasting Trump, whom he too called a “con man” and a “cheat.” Trump’s niece Mary Trump also wrote a critical tell-all titled “Too Much and Never Enough.”