Then-President Donald Trump “gleefully” watched the violence at the U.S. Capitol unfold on TV a year ago from the White House dining room, and he gushed: “Look at all of the people fighting for me,” his former press secretary Stephanie Grisham revealed Thursday on CNN.
Grisham, who has been harshly critical of the former president since quitting the Trump administration after the insurrection, was asked on CNN’s “New Day” about information that aides and even family members pleaded with Trump to intercede to stop the violence.
“I don’t know specifically” about that, said Grisham, though she added: “I know Mrs. Trump did not” urge him to take action to stop the riot.
“All I know about that day was he was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV, as he often did. ‘Look at all of the people fighting for me.’ Hitting rewind. Watching it again. That’s what I know,” said Grisham.
Trump took no action to stop the violence for more than three hours, investigators have determined. He had incited his supporters earlier in the day and encouraged them to confront Congress as he repeated the lie that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him.
Grisham, who was then working as press secretary and chief of staff for Melania Trump, has said she quit her job after she asked the then-first lady on Jan. 6 if she would tweet a message asking rioters to stand down. She flatly responded: “No,” Grisham recounted. Trump’s term ended two weeks later.
Grisham met with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, events on Wednesday and spoke with lawmakers for about an hour, she told CNN. She said she answered “every question that they asked of me, and I’m going to continue to cooperate.”
Grisham was also asked on “New Day” about texts obtained by the committee that had been sent on Jan. 6, 2021, by Fox News host Sean Hannity to then chief of staff Mark Meadows pleading with Meadows to urge Trump to “ask people to leave the Capitol.”
Grisham said she had no direct knowledge of the texts but described Hannity as a “shadow adviser” to Trump and said she spoke with Hannity often when she worked at the White House.
“He definitely advised the president on many, many things to do. So it didn’t surprise me he was reaching out to Meadows or anybody else because that was something he did often to get a message to the president,” Grisham said.