Former first lady Melania Trump did not trust her husband’s final chief of staff and was angered by the way he’d allow “harmful” people access to him and the White House’s private family quarters, according to her long-serving ex-spokesperson and former top White House aide.
A transcript of ex-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham’s sworn deposition before the House January 6 select committee reveals that Ms Trump told Ms Grisham — who served as the then-First Lady’s spokesperson during the entire Trump administration — that she “didn’t trust” Mark Meadows, who left a North Carolina congressional seat to join the White House as Mr Trump’s top aide in April 2020.
Ms Grisham said Ms Trump was “very angry” about the way Mr Meadows fired her from her West Wing communications post and derided her internally as a “leaker”.
She added that the former first lady had been “very wary” of the outside advisers Mr Meadows allowed to have access to the then-president, including ex-New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Trump campaign attorneys Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, as well as “a lot of the people who were coming up into the residence and talking to the President” in the weeks between his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden and the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Asked whether Ms Trump had other reasons for her negative feelings toward Mr Meadows, Ms Grisham replied: “I know she was frustrated with his treatment of me, but I also know that she felt he was letting a lot of people who were maybe being harmful to the President, giving him bad advice”.
“Mrs. Trump never liked it when people would tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than the truth or the reality of the situation, and she felt that Meadows was always just playing into his hand,” she said, according to the transcript released Thursday.
She also said Mr Meadows was “clearing” such people into the Oval Office as well as the White House residence.
“She hated when people would come to the residence. It was - that was her home, she wanted privacy,” Ms Grisham explained.
The ex-White House aide also revealed that Ms Trump became “very upset” because Mr Meadows would allow people to attend meetings in the Yellow Oval Room on the top floor of the residence, which was part of the First Family’s private quarters. She added later that a specific source of this frustration came from meeting attendees walking into the residence without a “heads up” to the first lady, who would often walk around in a bathrobe.