Melania Trump’s hard line on refusing to invite Jill Biden to tea revealed in new January 6 transcripts

Former White House press secretary and aide to the first lady Stephanie Grisham recalled in her interview with the January 6 committee that Melania Trump rebuffed when it was suggested that she invite Jill Biden over for tea.

Indeed, Ms Grisham noted that the former first lady’s position was even irrelevant given her previous stance to act independently of West Wing politics.

Ms Grisham was asked by the committee about a chain of text messages between her and Ms Trump in which she told the then first lady to consider inviting Jill Biden for the traditional tea and House tour White as outgoing first ladies usually do. , regardless of whether Donald Trump complains about the election result.

She explained, “I was trying to tell her gently — because, again, so often, she was doing unimportant things — independent of her husband, and she was doing what she felt was right. So I was trying to say nicely, maybe we’d reach out and do this anyway.

Ms Grisham told the committee that Mrs Trump responded: ‘We need to be on the same page with West Wing.’

It took the aide by surprise: “In my entire career in the White House, she never, ever, ever said that. It was always kind of an “F the West Wing” attitude.

Referring to the text messages, she said, “And so it’s – you know, I’m like, ‘I see. Ok, because I was flabbergasted. We had never agreed with the West Wing on anything.

Ms Grisham goes further: ‘When I started working with her she said – I mean she almost told me to drop your ties to the West Wing, because of course I started there -low. We’ll do our own thing. We’re not going to worry about them. We’ll do what I want, what I think is right, and it doesn’t matter what they say.

However, she alleges that everything changed in the two to three weeks leading up to January 6. Ms Grisham recalled: ‘She started to say, like, something’s wrong here and let’s listen to the west wing. And she had started, in my opinion, drinking someone’s Kool-Aid that maybe this election had been stolen.

Later, recounting what happened during the Capitol riot when Mrs. Trump had the White House carpets photographed, Ms. Grisham told the panel that she asked the first lady if she would tweet a call for a peaceful and non-violent demonstration and received a simple “No” in response.

“She was up there with the mat and I was watching the violence unfold in our Capitol, and she literally said no to me without any explanation,” Ms. Grisham said. “I just – I mean I was kind of like just fucking you.”

She added: “I was so, so disappointed in her. I was more disappointed in her than I had ever been, because she had a chance to play a real leadership role. And I know for sure she was amazing at influencing her husband sometimes with the kind of stuff, you know.

She further said she couldn’t believe the first lady wasn’t immediately on the phone with the president telling him to make the video he eventually made telling the rioters to go home.

The former aide to the first lady also recalled an incident in which White House chief usher Tim Harleth contacted the Biden team independently to provide them with plans for the executive mansion so they could can prepare for the transition.

News of the meeting got back to President Trump and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows via the Secret Service and they wanted him fired immediately.

Mrs. Trump, she told the committee, imbibed and said they weren’t going to fire him with just three weeks in the presidency.

She says this was consistent with a climate of believing that the administration and the struggle to stay in power was not yet over and that Mr Harleth was seen as “disloyal”.

In other parts of her testimony, Ms. Grisham gave a searing assessment of whether Mr. Trump would have walked to the Capitol with his supporters if the Secret Service had given him permission to do so.

“This man was not going to walk down the street with people,” she told Rep. Liz Cheney. “I just know him. He is afraid of people. He doesn’t want to do these things. And so he was only stirring up a crowd that you could tell was already angry.

She also told the panel that while President Trump reveled in the people on Capitol Hill fighting for him, he also thought they looked “trash.”

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