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It Sure Looks Like Melania Trump Is Publicly Shaming Her Former Press Secretary for Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Stephanie Grisham stares at the camera while two men talk

Stephanie Grisham is best known as being Donald Trump’s press secretary who never held a single press briefing, but she held a number of different jobs in the administration. After working on Trump’s election campaign, she worked as Sean Spicer’s deputy press secretary, as well as Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary. She’s also joining the long list of Trump associates cashing in with their own tell-all books.

In her upcoming book, titled I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House despite, again, not ever actually taking questions from the White House press, Grisham describes texting her then-boss Melania Trump during the January 6 Capitol riot, asking her, “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?”

According to Grisham, Melania, who was reportedly busy with a photoshoot for a rug she picked out, texted back, “No.”

When a person dedicates years of their life to serving Donald Trump and helping enact his terrifying, hateful, divisive vision of the United States, we should take everything they say afterward with a grain of salt. But this anecdote does offer some context for Grisham’s resignation, which came within hours of that text exchange, on the afternoon of January 6.

Melania, obviously, is not too happy with Grisham’s book. In response to the excerpts released Monday, she released the following statement:

“The intent behind this book is obvious. It is an 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.”

This statement isn’t surprising. Whenever someone in the Trumps’ orbit has released a book, they’ve been accused of doing so as a way to compensate for their own personal and professional failings. Donald Trump used this sort of line of attack against everyone from former national security adviser John Bolton to his own niece, Mary Trump.

But Melania’s specific mention of Grisham’s “failed personal relationships” might be even more villainous than the standard character attack response. From Politico:

Her mention of “failed personal relationships” appears likely to be a reference to Grisham’s past relationship with former Trump aide MAX MILLER. Citing three people familiar with the incident, POLITICO Magazine reported in July that the relationship “ended when he pushed her against a wall and slapped her in the face in his Washington apartment after she accused him of cheating on her.” He denied the allegation.

Stephanie Grisham might need to “redeem” herself for a lot of things but being the victim of domestic abuse is not one of them. If Melania is, indeed, suggesting otherwise, it’s even more abhorrent behavior than we usually see from her–and that’s a bar that was already set sky-high.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline online or by calling 1-800-799-7233.

(via Politico, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.