Editor’s Note: Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind.” Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion on CNN.
Why are we still acting surprised that Melania Trump shares many of her husband’s toxic views and supports his politics of division and cruelty? And why are we letting members of the Trump team attempt to redeem themselves by meeting our insatiable need for more gossip and insider information about one of the most disgraceful administrations in American history?
This week, Politico got its hands on a preview of the forthcoming book from Stephanie Grisham, the former White House Press Secretary and chief of staff to Melania Trump. Grisham writes that, as violent insurrectionists descended on the Capitol complex on January 6, she texted Melania Trump, “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?”
“No,” she said the then-First Lady texted back. Two sources familiar with the incident confirmed Grisham’s account to CNN.
Grisham resigned a few hours later after sending the text.
The preview includes other unflattering tidbits as well. Melania did not reach out to Jill Biden for the customary inauguration tea because, Grisham says, Melania agreed with her husband’s false claim that the election was stolen.
Melania largely denies the allegations. In a statement, her office wrote, “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.”
To be fair, Grisham is indeed seeking to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump. But Mr. and Mrs. Trump both sought to gain relevance and money at the expense of the entire country and American democracy itself. The list of ethics violations, conflicts, and instances of self-dealing by the Trump family could fill its own column, but most obviously, the former president and his wife profited handsomely by hosting events on Trump properties, and having heads of