FILE – In this March 10, 2020, file photo first lady Melania Trump speaks at the at the National PTA Legislative Conference in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
UPDATED 6:30 PM PT – Thursday, July 21, 2022
Former First Lady Melania Trump responded to allegations that she did not condemn clashes during January 6 protests. Melania said on Thursday that she was taking archival photographs of the White House renovations on January 6, 2021 with a team of photographers she commissioned months prior.
She added that she was unaware of events at the Capitol Building because she was fulfilling the duties of the First Lady. This comes after her former Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham claimed the First Lady did not immediately sign off on a statement condemning the Capitol protest.
“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,” Trump said. “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. As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021 to complete the work on behalf of our Nation.”
It was not until January 11, five days after the insurrection, that Trump in part condemned the violence. According to Grisham, she sent Trump 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?” Trump replied with “No.”
“Knowing her as well as I did at that point it was so unlike her to not have condemned it,” Grisham voiced. “That was the moment it all kind of broke me. Yesterday, hearing Cassidy’s testimony I felt compelled to show that text because it was a lot of context I thought and again knowing Melania like I did I was so disappointed and discouraged and sickened that she wouldn’t stand up and just say simply, ‘There should be no violence.’”
Grisham was a loyal Trump deputy for more than five years. She served 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.
Melania Trump stressed that if Grisham informed her about the clashes then she would have immediately denounced the violence.