“On January 6, 2021, I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the US Capitol Building,” she said.
Trump said it was her “duty” as first lady to archive the contents of the White House, which is not exactly true. The White House curator and the White House Historical Association are predominantly responsible for keeping a record of the contents of the official White House collection.
“As with all first ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House’s historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations. Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution,” she continued. “As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation.”
Trump’s response comes several weeks after Stephanie Grisham, her former chief of staff, revealed a text message exchange in which the former first lady responded to a tweet Grisham had drafted calling for the violence on Capitol Hill to stop as it was happening. The then-first lady responded with the word, “no,” declining to send a statement condemning the insurrection.
In the interview with Fox, Trump claimed she was in the dark about what was happening that day, although it was broadcast worldwide on television and all over social media. Trump said Grisham “failed to provide insight and information” that day.
“Had I been fully informed of all the details, naturally, I would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building,” Trump said. “And while Ms. Grisham’s behavior is disappointing, it is not surprising or an isolated incident.”
In response to Trump’s statements, Grisham told CNN, “Everything she said is bullshit and she knows it.”
Trump waited until five days after the riot to tweet a condemnation of the violence.