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Saturday, October 1, 2022

‘I Was Part of Something Unusually Evil’

  • Stephanie Grisham said a “rebrand” would be tough after her time in the Trump administration.
  • In a New York Magazine profile, the former White House press secretary opened up about her tenure in the White House.
  • “I think this will follow me forever,” she said.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an article published this week that her role in former President Donald Trump’s administration will make it difficult for her to “rebrand” and would likely stick with her “forever.”

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation on Jan. 6, was the subject of a profile by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, where the longtime GOP official said her future opportunities would be limited.

The former press secretary recently released a bombshell memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which chronicles her time in the often-turbulent Trump White House.

While scores of former White House press secretaries have catapulted from their high-visibility role at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to plum positions in the private sector and academia, many former Trump staffers have had difficulties in the job market, and even more so after the Capitol insurrection.

“I don’t think I can rebrand. I think this will follow me forever,” Grisham told Nuzzi of her time in the White House. “I believe that I was part of something unusually evil, and I hope that it was a one-time lesson for our country and that I can be a part of making sure that at least that evil doesn’t come back now.”

Grisham, who said in a recent CNN interview that she didn’t vote for Trump in the 2020 election, is ringing the alarm regarding another stint in the White House by the former president, which she said would be defined by “revenge.”

“He’s on his revenge tour for people who dared to vote for impeachment,” she told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on Monday. “I want to just warn people that once he takes office, if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about reelection anymore. He will be about revenge.”

“He will probably have some pretty draconian policies that go on,” Grisham added. “There were conversations a lot of times that people would say, ‘That’ll be the second term.’ Meaning, we won’t have to worry about a reelection.”

In a Friday interview with Insider, Grisham said that she struggled with anxiety and had to be “deprogrammed” after her resignation from the White House in response to the Jan. 6 riot.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Grisham moved to a small town in Kansas and spent her final months in the administration commuting between her new home and Washington, DC. In her interview, she spoke of the pressures that came with her tenure in the Trump White House.

“I don’t want to speak for my colleagues, but I know for me, a toxic environment was normal,” she said. “I’ve tried to explain to people that when I left and went to Kansas, normal things were not normal to me. Like quiet nights with crickets chirping and stars, it gave me anxiety. And having just dinner with family and watching TV, normal things made me anxious because I had been so used to the chaos.” 

While speaking with Insider, Grisham also said that she would have resigned from the White House even if her relationship with the Trumps hadn’t soured and the events of Jan. 6 had never occurred.

“I was, by that time, done,” Grisham said. “I had been done for probably six months before I resigned and had tried to resign a few times and the first lady had talked me into staying, which also contradicts her statements that I was troubled and terrible.”


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