Melania Trump says she was not aware of the Capitol riot. Stephanie Grisham calls "bulls**t"

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Melania Trump gave an interview to Fox Digital just hours before the January 6 committee held a televised primetime hearing. The focus of the hearing was publicized to be on Trump’s reaction to the riot on Capitol Hill. Melania broke her silence and told Fox that she was not aware of the riot because she was busy with her duties as the first lady. She said if she had known about the riot, she would have condemned it.


This is a story that looks bizarre on its face. How could anyone in the White House have not known what was happening on Capitol Hill that day? She must have known her husband, the president, was delivering a speech to his supporters nearby. Even if she didn’t know his schedule that day, it seems too wild to believe that no one told her what was going on. This is where the battle with Stephanie Grisham comes in. Grisham claims she asked Melania via a text message if she wanted to condemn the violence and Melania answered with one word – “no.”

Melania said she was fulfilling her official duties as the first lady while the riot was happening. Her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, says Melania knew what was going on. Grisham wasn’t even at the White House that day, according to Melania. Melania said she had scheduled January 6, 2021 as the date she would record the contents in the White House historical rooms and the renovations made at the White House.

“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. Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution,” she continued. “As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation.”

The former first lady added that “this is a very significant undertaking and requires great care, attention to detail, and concentration — both in the planning and execution.”


As it turned out, it was five days after the Capitol Hill riot that Melania condemned the violence. In response to Melania’s statements to Fox, Stephanie Grisham said, “Everything she said is bullshit and she knows it.”

Melania attempted to sound supportive of Grisham in a backhanded compliment kind of way. Clearly there is bad blood between the two women these days. In this case, she blames Grisham for dropping the ball and not keeping her informed on the day’s events.

Trump went on to say that she has “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,” Trump said.

“Ms. Grisham was not in the White House on January 6, and her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty,” Trump said, noting 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.,” she continued. “Shamefully, this behavior has only partially become public knowledge; yet was consistent for Ms. Grisham.”

Trump added: “It is evident that Grisham’s recent betrayals are a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate her ruined career and reputation.”


Maybe Melania went to Fox Digital for an interview because she wanted to counter the screenshot of the text where Grisham claims she asked Melania if she wanted to condemn the violence that day. Grisham published that screenshot the day after Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 committee.

Grisham told CNN (naturally it was CNN) that she was disappointed in Melania’s response to the text.

“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,” Grisham said in an interview last month with CNN. “Yesterday, hearing Cassidy’s testimony, I felt compelled to show that 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.’”

Melania told Fox News that she always condemns violence. She’s disappointed in Grisham and paints her as someone who is profiting off Melania’s name.

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

She added: “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.”


This is a little side show to the big show, the January 6 hearings. Everyone is pointing fingers at others and now we have some sort of she said- she said kind of drama going on. If Grisham had tweeted the screenshot of the text message weeks ago instead of waiting until the televised hearings were underway would Melania have spoken up sooner? There’s no way of knowing. Maybe a photographer or someone working with her that day at the White House will step forward and set the record straight as to where Melania was that day and what she was doing.

I wrote about Melania Trump many times as first lady. I though she did a fine job in that position. She was someone who didn’t embarrass us whether it was in this country or abroad. This story is a sad reminder how so many people have been dragged into the January 6 drama.

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David Strom 8:16 PM | July 17, 2024