Unflattering Trump Details Surface From Grisham Memoir

Former press chief says he only pretended to get tough with Putin in front of cameras
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2021 11:45 AM CDT
Book: Trump Only Pretended to Get Tough With Putin
Then-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, left, listens as then-President Trump spoke to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The new memoir by Stephanie Grisham, a press chief under then-President Trump and a top aide to Melania Trump, is now in the hands of journalists. Some of the details making waves:

  • Putin: Grisham writes that when Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Japan two years ago, he leaned in toward the Russian president. "OK, I'm going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes," Grisham quotes Trump as saying, per the Washington Post. "But it's for the cameras, and after they leave, we'll talk. You understand."

  • No briefings: Grisham is famous for never once holding a press briefing during her tenure as press secretary. Why? "I knew that sooner or later the president would want me to tell the public something that was not true or that would make me sound like a lunatic," she writes, per the New York Times.
  • Female aide: Grisham writes that Trump became nearly obsessed with an attractive young female press aide, once summoning her to his cabin on Air Force One merely so he could "look at her (behind.)"
  • Temper: Grisham describes Trump's temper toward her and other staffers as "terrifying," adding, "When I began to see how his temper wasn't just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing."
  • Denial: She describes Trump talking about rape allegations leveled against him by E. Jean Carroll, writing that his subsequent instructions made her uncomfortable. "You just deny it," he tells her. Grisham quotes him further, writing: "'That's what you do in every situation. Right, Stephanie? You just deny it,' he repeated, emphasizing the words.'"
  • And, um: Grisham writes that Trump once called her to deny that his penis was small and shaped like a toadstool, as Stormy Daniels publicly alleged. "Uh, yes sir," Grisham replied.
  • Trump pushback: "Stephanie didn't have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning," Trump said in a statement. "She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself. Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things."
(Grisham likened the former first lady to Marie Antoinette.)

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