Stephanie Grisham, who held multiple high-level roles in the Trump administration, has penned a tell-all book loaded with embarrassing details about the former first family.
The Washington Post and The New York Times obtained copies of “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” set to be published next week, and reported on some of the most eyebrow-raising revelations. Many are tawdry – how Trump cuts his own hair, for example, or the mean-spirited nicknames assigned to his kids – but others reflect poorly on Donald Trump’s efficacy as a leader and depict his White House as full of lying, incompetency, and inappropriate behavior.
Grisham was a campaign aide for Trump in 2016 and became his press secretary and communications director. Grisham’s tenure as press secretary was particularly noteworthy because she never held a traditional press briefing, opting instead for friendly interviews with conservative media. She was also a Melania Trump confidant and served as the former first lady’s chief of staff.
Here are some of the highlights from her forthcoming book, as described in The Post and The Times.
- At a Group of 20 meeting in 2019, Trump told Russian President Vladimir Putin “Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes. But it’s for the cameras, and after they leave, we’ll talk. You understand.”
- At that meeting, top White House Russia expert Fiona Hill noted that Putin’s translator was “a very attractive brunette woman with long hair, a pretty face, and a wonderful figure.” Hill believed she there to distract Trump.
- Trump was reluctant to ban travelers from China at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. He eventually imposed that restriction and cited it over and over as proof that he had acted quickly in the face of a public health emergency.
- Trump became enamored with a young female aide and used an expletive to describe her rear end. He often asked where she was and instructed Grisham to promote her and “keep her happy.”
- Trump routinely unleashed his “terrifying” temper on staffers, particularly White House counsel Pat Cipollone. “He didn’t like them telling him that things he wanted to do were unethical or illegal. So he’d scream at them. But then he’d usually listen. And then yell at them again later.”
- By the end of the Trump administration, Jared Kushner was the de-facto chief of staff. But the former president’s son-in-law lacked follow through and he would often pursue policies without notifying the appropriate government agencies.
- White House staff nicknamed Ivanka Trump “the Princess” because she frequently referenced “my father” in meetings. Jared Kushner was dubbed “the Slim Reaper” for his habit of inserting himself into other people’s tasks and creating havoc. Secret Service agents called Melania Trump “Rapunzel” because she infrequently left the White House.
- Ivanka and Jared Kushner tried to insert themselves into an official visit with Queen Elizabeth II, a sign that they considered themselves America’s royal family.
- Trump underwent a medical procedure without anesthesia – its unnamed in the book, but Grisham implies it was a colonoscopy – because he didn’t want Mike Pence to be president while he was under. Trump kept the routine procedure secret because he didn’t want to be “the butt of jokes.”
- Trump once called Grisham to dispute Stormy Daniels’ claim that his penis was small and mushroom-shaped. She responded “Uh, yes sir.”
- Melania Trump didn’t believe her husband’s denials about his alleged affairs and would go out of her way to exclude him from photos she posted on social media.
- A strapping military aide escorted Melania to her husband’s first State of the Union. Grisham selected the aide as a way to troll Trump.
- Melania was so disengaged from her husband, that she went to bed early on election night in 2020.
- Trump reprimanded Melania in front of staff after she caused a media controversy by wearing a jacket with the phrase “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” on the back.
- Trump cuts his own hair with “a huge pair of scissors that could probably cut a ribbon at an opening of one of his properties.”
- Following precedent, White House staff authorized Air Force One to be used by the Bush family after George H.W. Bush died. The loan was kept from Trump, fearing he’d block it.
- A White House official known as the “Music Man” was tasked with playing Trump his favorite show tunes – including “Memory” from “Cats,” – when he was in a bad mood.
- Grisham writes that “Casual dishonesty filtered through the White House as if it were in the air conditioning system.”
“This book is another pitiful attempt to cash in on the President’s strength and sell lies about the Trump family,” said Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington. She called Grisham “a disgruntled former employee.”
Melania also issued a denunciation, calling the book Grisham’s “attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House. Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump.”