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Melania lashes out at ex-chief of staff ahead of January 6 hearing

Melania Trump says she was ‘fulfilling’ her duties as first lady on January 6 and tears into Stephanie Grisham for not keeping her up to date so she could ‘condemn’ the violence

  • Former First Lady Melania Trump said Thursday that she was ‘fulfilling’ her official duties on January 6, 2021
  • She blasted her former Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham, and said had she been ‘fully informed’ of the violence she would have ‘immediately’ denounced it 
  • Melania Trump blamed Grisham for keeping her in the dark, saying it amounted to a ‘dereliction of duty’ 
  • The former first lady spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of the final January 6 House select committee hearing, which will take place primetime Thursday 
  • Grisham previously said that Melania Trump had been in the middle of a photoshoot – capturing the White House’s rugs – during the attack 
  • Grisham also shared a text exchange with the former first lady in which she answers ‘no’ when Grisham asks if she wants to condemn the violence  
  • ‘I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building,’ Melania Trump said Thursday 
  • She then went after Grisham, saying she didn’t brief her and wasn’t in Washington, D.C. on January 6  
  • ‘I stood behind Ms. Grisham after her failed stint as White House Press Secretary and welcomed her back to the East Wing,’ the former first lady also said 

Former First Lady Melania Trump said Thursday that she was ‘fulfilling’ her official duties on January 6, 2021 and if she would have been ‘fully informed’ of the violence taking place at the Capitol Building she would have immediately denounced it. 

She then blamed her former Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham for keeping her in the dark, saying it amounted to a ‘dereliction of duty.’

The former first lady spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of the final January 6 House select committee hearing, which will take place primetime Thursday night, and revolve around former President Donald Trump’s inaction while the Capitol was being ransacked. 

Grisham has cooperated with the committee’s investigation and chimed in throughout the hearings. 

Last last month she shared a visual of a text message exchange that purportedly showed Melania Trump answering ‘no’ after Grisham asked if she wanted to say ‘there is no place for lawlessness & violence’ amid the attack. 

Former First Lady Melania Trump (right), photographed with former President Donald Trump (left) outside of Ivana Trump’s funeral Wednsday, said she was ‘fulfilling’ her duties on January 6 and would have condemned the Capitol attack’s violence if she had been properly informed 

In statements to Fox News Digital, Melania Trump went after former Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham saying it was a ‘dereliction of duty’ she was not fully informed of the violent attack taking place on Capitol Hill 

Last month, Grisham shared a purported visual of her text message exhange with Melania Trump, in which she asks the first lady if she wants to tweet that there’s ‘no place for lawlessness & violence’ and the first lady responds, ‘no’  

The final January 6 hearing, which will take place primetime Thursday, will revolve around former President Donald Trump’s inaction while the Capitol was being ransacked. Melania Trump was working on a photoshoot of White House rugs during the attack

Grisham previously said that Melania Trump had been in the middle of a photoshoot – capturing the White House’s rugs – during the January 6 Capitol attack. 

‘On January 6, 2021, I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building,’ Melania Trump told Fox News Digital on Thursday. 

‘As with all First Ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House’s historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations,’ she continued. 

She said with several months of advance planning she had assembled a group of ‘photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution.’ 

‘As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation,’ she told Fox in a statement, adding ‘this is a very significant undertaking and requires great care, attention to detail, and concentration – both in the planning and execution.’ 

Melania Trump then pushed that Grisham failed to make her aware of the severity of the attack. 

She said she had ‘always been very supportive of my former Chief of Staff, Stephanie Grisham.’

‘I stood behind Ms. Grisham after her failed stint as White House Press Secretary and welcomed her back to the East Wing,’ the former first lady continued. 

Grisham worked for the Trump campaign and was pulled into the East Wing shortly after inauguration, only to move to the West Wing to serve as White House press secretary from April 2020 to January 2021 – but never held a briefing. 

Grisham then moved back to the East Wing to serve as Melania Trump’s chief of staff.

‘Ms. Grisham was not in the White Hosue on January 6, and her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty,’ Melania Trump said, explaining that ‘traditionally, the First Lady’s Chief of Staff provides detailed briefings surrounding our Nation’s important issues.’  

‘In fact, Ms. Grisham failed to provide insight and information into the events surrounding January 6 as she had abandoned her post in Washington, D.C.,’ Melania Trump continued. ‘Shamefully, this behavior has only partially become public knowledge; yet was consistent for Ms. Grisham.’ 

Melania Trump articulated: ‘I always condemn violence.’  

‘Had I been fully informed of all the details, naturally, I would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building,’ she said. ‘And while Ms. Grisham’s behavior is disappointing, it is not surprising or an isolated incident.’  

‘This is not the first time a former staffer has tried to maintain relevancy and profit by using my name to create a false narrative,’ the former first lady added. 

Grisham shared an image of her text message conversation with Melania Trump on the heels of former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s blockbuster testimony before the House panel. 

Hutchinson told lawmakers that former President Trump threw food when he found out Attorney General Bill Barr said publicly there was no widespread election fraud. 

She also said she heard from Secret Service officials that Trump had lunged at his driver when told he wouldn’t be going to the Capitol Building after the rally on the Ellipse on January 6. 

Previously, there had been no explicit evidence that Trump had wanted to join his supporters on Capitol Hill. 

That testimony, Grisham said on CNN a day later, made her wonder if Melania Trump knew of her husband’s broader plans – which would explain why she refused to condemn the MAGA mob’s actions.  

‘It just made me think she knew something,’ said Grisham. ‘It made me think she knew that perhaps her husband was going to try to be down there, she knew something ahead of time.’ 

Grisham said she didn’t know this for a fact. 

‘But, again, knowing her as well as I did at that point, it was so unlike her to not have condemned it that that was the moment it all kind of broke me – that’s what I wrote in the book – and I resigned immediately afterward,’ she said on CNN’s New Day. 

Grisham said Hutchinson’s testimony compelled her to release a visual of the text ‘because it was a lot of context I thought.’  

‘And, again, knowing Melania like I did I was so disappointed and discouraged and sickened that she wouldn’t stand up and just say simply there should be no violence,’ Grisham said.   

Grisham had detailed this interaction with the then first lady in her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, explaining how it compelled her to leave. 

She wrote that she ‘finally saw the doomed French queen. Dismissive. Defeated. Detached.’ 

‘It broke me,’ Grisham wrote. ‘I took a breath and waited another minute. You learned to do that in the Trump White House: make sure you are grounded and not acting out of the moment. Then I resigned.’ 

‘I sent her an email and cc-ed her senior adviser so I couldn’t take it back or be talked out of it. I was done,’ Grisham said. 

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