Then-first lady Melania Trump declined to call for peace and non-violence as insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building on January 6, two sources with knowledge of the events of the day told CNN.
The sources told CNN that Trump’s aide Stephanie Grisham sent her a text that said, “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?” to which Trump replied with one word: “No.” Grisham details the account in her upcoming book titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” according to portions published in Politico on Monday.
CNN reported in January that Trump was at the White House during the insurrection, overseeing a photo shoot of a carpet she had installed. At no time on January 6 did Trump call off the photo shoot, nor did she publicly speak out in any way about the atrocities being committed by supporters of her husband, President Donald Trump, two miles away on Capitol Hill, even as barricades were torn down and attackers entered the Capitol building.
It was not until January 11, five days after the insurrection, that Trump in part condemned the violence.
Trump released a statement Monday regarding Grisham to Politico, saying: “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.”
Grisham was a loyal Trump deputy for more than five years, serving briefly as White House press secretary before returning to the East Wing as Melania Trump’s chief of staff for the last year of the administration.
She resigned her position on January 6, not long after she sent Trump the text asking if she would like to speak out against the violence at the Capitol.
Grisham’s book is set to be released October 5.
Melania Trump reportedly woken up for husband’s election night speech
According to another account in Grisham’s book, Melania Trump was sleeping in her private bedroom at the White House on election night and Grisham had to wake her for her husband’s speech, a person familiar with the content tells CNN.
Politico was first to report the account, on Monday night’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on CNN.
According to Grisham, Melania Trump was soundly asleep in her bedroom when Grisham went looking for her so that she could join the then-President in the East Room for his speech in the overnight hours of election night. Melania Trump hastily awoke, put on a suit and went to join her husband.
This story has been updated with further reporting.