When Donald Trump was watching last year’s Jan. 6 riot unfold on TV, he commented that his supporters looked “very trashy,” former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham testified to the House Jan. 6 committee, citing “several people in the West Wing” who had been with him.
“I don’t know if he expected them to be wearing full suits of, like, Roman armor and that would have made them not trashy,” Grisham said, according to a transcript of her testimony. “He did feel they looked trashy — but he loved how they were fighting for him,” she added.
Grisham clarified that she hadn’t heard those comments from Trump herself, but rather “from several people in the West Wing, more on the military aide or Secret Service side, and then a couple just people, but that he was sitting in the dining room, and he was just watching it all unfold.”
“Some of his comments were that these people looked very trashy, but also, ‘Look at what fighters’ they were,” she said.
He was “kind of reveling in the fact that these people were fighting for him, but he also didn’t like how they looked.”
Grisham also recounted Trump’s furious response late on election night when it started to become clear he had lost the race to Joe Biden. She was then working as press secretary and chief of staff to Melania Trump, and encouraged the first lady to tell Donald Trump to “be presidential” in his comments and say: “We’ll see what happens, not all the votes are in.”
Instead, the president took the podium and said: “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”
Grisham said she sat on a couch in the Blue Room and cried. “I was so ashamed and pissed off that that is what he chose to say,” she told committee members.
Grisham resigned from the White House just hours after the Jan. 6 violence erupted when Melania Trump refused her request to speak out against the insurrection.
At the time, the first lady was supervising a photo shoot of White House rugs, possibly to be used in a coffee table book she had reportedly expressed an interest in writing. She claimed later that she had no idea what was going on that day at the Capitol.
Grisham said she quit because Melania Trump “would not take time out of photographing a carpet while our Capitol was being assaulted to tell people to be peaceful,” she testified.
Check out the full Grisham testimony transcript here.