Stephanie Grisham: ‘I believe that I was part of something unusually evil’

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Stephanie Grisham’s book, I’ll Take Your Questions, came out on Tuesday. We’ve been talking about the excerpts for a few weeks, none of which have been shocking, but the excerpts have been newsworthy in their own way. After the glut of Trump-insider tell-alls, I feel like most political-minded people are just kind of burned out on all things Trump. I will give credit to Grisham for one thing: she’s not actually trying to whitewash her motives or pretend that she didn’t understand how evil the Trumps were at the time. She always knew, and she speaks pretty plainly about all of it. Grisham has a new profile in NY Magazine – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

She knows everyone hates her. “I feel like one of the most hated people in the country. The right hates me. They really hate me now. And the left is never going to come around. I have no illusions that people are going to be like, ‘Oh, you’re so brave.’”

Quick gossip: She discloses how, at the G20 in Osaka, the president told Vladimir Putin he would be acting “a little tougher” on him “for the cameras, and after they leave, we’ll talk.” How Fiona Hill observed that Putin brought an attractive female translator to their meeting, likely as a means to distract the president (and it worked). How the president asked her then-boyfriend how she was in bed. How he ordered her to tell a political ally in Arizona to stop wearing sleeveless clothing because he thought her arms were unsightly. How he underwent a colonoscopy without anesthesia to prevent Mike Pence from being in charge for even an hour. How Jared and Ivanka were dubbed “the interns” by White House colleagues who thought they were incompetent and entitled. How the president called Grisham from his Air Force One cabin to instruct her to defend the size of his anatomy after Stormy Daniels claimed he was penilely deficient. How obsessed he was with Sunset Boulevard.

She feels guilty: “I was weighing the fact that I myself had said so many nasty things about people who had written books. I was weighing my own loyalty, because even though I resigned, I still am to this day —I feel guilty because I was so entrenched with them. They were a huge part of my life for a really long time, and I gave up a lot to work for both of them, and I really believed in them, and I don’t think you just shut all that off overnight. I’m not a cyborg.”

Why she liked Donald Trump: “When he first started, I loved the stuff he said. I loved that he wasn’t worried about talking points. He just said what was on his mind. The way I saw people react made me excited. Like, The Republican Party can be exciting again, and we can have this new, fresh way of doing things. Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies… But at least he was refreshing. And behind the scenes, the man can be charming, he can be funny.”

So why did she write this book? “If I was going to write the book, I wanted to be really honest and not make myself out to be some hero. I hate when people do that. Even if you hate me, I hope some of the things in my book make you rethink 2024. If he runs and wins, he won’t have to worry about reelection this time and he can do whatever he wants. That’s scary.”

Something unusually evil: “I don’t think I can rebrand. I think this will follow me forever. I believe that I was part of something unusually evil, and I hope that it was a one-time lesson for our country and that I can be a part of making sure that at least that evil doesn’t come back now.”

[From NY Magazine]

I don’t admire her or like her or think she’s a good person. Stephanie Grisham seems really stupid, actually. But I will say that I actually appreciate the fact that she called it “something unusually evil.” I appreciate the fact that she’s worried about 2024, that she’s worried about a Trump comeback. Because all of this WAS evil, amoral, venal and repulsive. I still shudder to think how easily it happened, how many people went along with it, how many people said nothing, or worse, vocally supported it. Violently supported it.

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69 Responses to “Stephanie Grisham: ‘I believe that I was part of something unusually evil’”

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  1. Jezz says:

    Why says she sounds stupid? I think she sounds really smart. And brave, actually.

    • Emma says:

      I mean it’s safe now for her. It would have been brave to take a stand when awful crimes were actually happening or Kavanaugh or Barrett were being nominated. Who looks at Trump and thinks “Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies…” when he’s literally *an old white man* who aggressively went after reproductive rights in his campaign!

      She’s not stupid. She wanted power (she says that explicitly that no one else would have brought her into the White House — she knew she was underqualified). Everyone is writing attack memoirs now — this is not bravery.

      Brave is Bernie Sanders or Maxine Waters who’ve been standing up to power for their whole lives. Brave is the BLM movement.

    • LaraW” says:

      Perhaps she’s genuine. However, I can’t help but think this is her strategy for rebranding: the one with a Conscience who accepts Responsibility and has now Reflected on her sins and Repented. The whole “I’ve learned my lesson, my eyes have been opened, I will never make the same mistake again” makes for a better narrative than “I was fooled, I didn’t know!”

      People like redemption narratives. And it makes her SEEM like she’s brave to accept her culpability when literally everyone else is dishing about the same thing and she’s adding nothing new.

      You know what brave is? Admitting guilt before a f-ckin court of law. Testifying against Trump during one of his impeachments. Making statements calling out high powered individuals in the Trump machinery who were part of January 6. Leveraging her Republican connections to lobby for meaningful reform and restoration of voting rights, since she’s so f-cking concerned about 2024. Joining the legal battle that’s just getting started in TX over their abortion “law,” joining the fight against allowing other states to pass similar illegal legislation.

      Repentance is meaningless without action. She says that the Democrats will never accept her. So? That doesn’t mean she’s completely powerless and can’t throw herself into making an effort to ensure Democrats get a supermajority in the Senate. She obviously has a platform. Brave is if she uses that platform and translated it into political action— not converting it to speaking engagements. A huge number of affluent college educated white women voted for Trump. She can start there, instead of a self-serving mea culpa tour meant to ease her conscience.

      • Golly Gee says:

        THIS!!! Everything you said.

      • Poisonella says:

        I’m reading the book right now-about halfway through, and I can’t tell you how many times this happens- Trump does or says something stupid – Stephanie helps him spin the message out , all the while thinking inside her head how wrong it all is. So, she’s really like the conscience of the White House players because you know- she thinks it!
        I think the most shocking thing I learned from the book so far is there’s a gift shop at Camp David where guests can purchase souvenirs!

    • Seraphina says:

      I agree with the statement she is brave. It cannot be easy to write this book and publish it. Make no mistake Trump still has power, money and influence. And I have experienced first hand what happens when you stand up to higher-ups in government. They made my life HELL and I ended up with physical ailments ……and that was middle management. So I cannot fathom to understand what being in the White House would have been like.
      I saw her interview with George Stephenopoulos and I get what she said and I empathized. Maybe because I know who crooked and evil people with power can be.
      I also appreciate the fact that she says another presidency will be about revenge. We all know it, but the more who say it – all the more better for people to hear.

    • JJ says:

      I agree, she sounds smart and articulate, and gave me some new info about things I had wondered about.

      But boy, yeah, as someone who was so entrenched in following this for FIVE YEARS when I had never been politically interested before, I am sooo sooo tired and can’t follow any more, for my own mental health… if he comes back in 2024 I don’t know what I’ll do.

      All I’ve learned so far is that rich people have justice happen to them very very very slowly, if at all..

      • Seraphina says:

        I’ve really become jaded with everything that has happened in American politics. I thought justice would be served by those in congress. But no, they stuck to the party line. No statemen – just politicians who want crumbs from the table and vultures who want the carcasses of what Trump leaves behind. It is a very sad time in our country.

  2. LaraW” says:

    For the sake of my own sanity because I don’t think I can handle reminiscing about Trump as we get closer to this year’s elections, what the f-ck is Melanoma wearing? She looks like a f-cking umbrella. Or a circus tent.

    • Cee says:

      I think Melania learned early on to put as many layers as possible between herself and her husband.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      Omg me too, I thought “is she a mustard stripe on a purple hotdog?”

      I love a cape and I love purple but mustard yellow next to Pee Tape Man just seems mean.

  3. AmyB says:

    I am growing tired of people coming out now, writing memoirs/books about their time in the WH – NOW saying how evil and horrible Trump was. Yeah, NO SHIT!!!! Why didn’t these people do something about it before?????? Do they think they are telling us anything we don’t already know, except perhaps specific incidents that were not privy to the public? UGH!

    • Jana says:

      They know when the gravy train is leaving the station…and they’re not on it. Best way to make some coin is to write tell-all’s! Seriously, nothing left to lose.

  4. Fifee says:

    Good grief .. the part about the colonoscopy is insane. All of it is insane!

    • fluffybunny says:

      I’m sorry but I need sedation before someone shoves a camera up my ass. I don’t care who gets to be in charge for the hour it takes.

    • tealily says:

      I, for one, take solace in the fact that that man went through a colonoscopy with no sedation. I hope he remembers every second of it.

  5. Kate says:

    I call bs on why she liked him in the first place. “ Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies.” Uh sorry you’re in the wrong political party lady if you thought a Republican candidate was going to be progressive and pro choice. Also he is old and white.

    • Merricat says:

      Exactly. I didn’t buy that line AT ALL. That is PRECISELY what the Republican party has been about for decades.

    • josephine says:

      Not to mention he made it crystal clear where he stood. He actively courted the super conservative Christian right. It was a huge part of his base. To me, she’s either incredibly stupid or incredibly deceitful. I can’t see it any other way.

    • jwoolman says:

      Kate – I can believe it. Trump was a registered Democrat and switched only because he had more of a chance to mess with Republicans. His kids couldn’t vote in the Republican primary because they hadn’t switched their registration from Democrat to Republican yet. He has certainly paid for abortions himself and tried to get Tiffany aborted.

      There was no reason for her to believe that he would suddenly start trying to destroy access to legal abortion, because it always had benefitted him personally. He had many sex partners but didn’t like to wear condoms. Trump joining up with the old white men who want to control women’s reproductive organs was legitimately a surprise.

      Trump always says and does whatever he thinks will get him the most money and power. Hard to keep up with his constant changes in that pursuit.

      • josephine says:

        Him enjoying the benefits of legal abortion is absolutely no different from any other politician who wants to ban abortions. Wealthy old white dudes will never lose access to abortions because it will at worst become a state-by-state decision, and they can always bribe a private doctor to do it. There was every reason to believe he would destroy access to abortions for poor women. Every reason – he showed complete and utter contempt for women in general and all poor people, and 100% courted the religious right.

      • WithTheAmerican says:

        You don’t think it was a clue when he said in March of 2016, long before the primary was over, Women who get abortions should receive “some form of punishment.”

        ? That was a pretty big clue that he would… go after legal abortion. As were his SCOTUS nominee once in office.

      • Annetommy says:

        Q: ‘how many abortions has trump paid for?’
        A: ‘none, trump never pays his bills’.

    • Lucy says:

      Right, I was wondering what exactly she liked that he said first? The Mexican rapist thing? The border wall? The part where he mocked a disabled reporter? Where he urged people at the rallies to attack the female reporter?

      I agree with jwoolman, she thought he’d stay away from abortion stuff because it’s clear to anyone with half a brain that he’s paid for abortions and thinks they’re great. I give her half a cookie for being self aware enough to write it this way, that she wasn’t an adult in the room like all the male-written books have been.

  6. Conservatives and our view points are not evil. Just not the same as your liberal ones. I’m proud to have voted Republican.

    • lanne says:

      Conservatism isn’t evil. Trumpism is. Trumpism isn’t conservative. It’s authoritarian. It’s fascist. It’s un-American. Many conservatives refused to vote for Trump, and they have been ostracized. Those are the ones who have character. Conservatives should be appalled at the fact that a sitting president tried to invalidate a fair election. Conservatives should be appalled that the president egged on his supporters to commit a terrorist act at the US Capital and tried to lynch the Vice President.

      Too many so-called conservatives either remained silent or actively support the overthrowing of our democracy in America. There’s nothing conservative about bowing down to the ego of an authoritarian madman.

    • OriginalLala says:

      Trying to remove human rights from millions of people isn’t exactly something to be proud of….but good for you for being so proud of your sh*tty beliefs.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Incorrect.

    • janey janey says:

      Tell me you are a bigot without saying so…

    • Merricat says:

      What makes you prouder, the fact that Trump likes to “grab women by the pussy” or the time he said KKK folks included some “very fine people?”

    • LaraW” says:

      Yeah. Great.

      Are you proud of putting a rapist on the Supreme Court? Proud of continuing to support a party that: is hell bent on restricting voting rights for POC; separated immigrant children from their families, in violation of the Geneva convention; freed Taliban leaders who engineered the blitz against the US as we pulled out of Afghanistan; gutted the Affordable Care Act? Just to name a few things off the top of my head.

      Proud of Matt Gaetz, who trafficked teenagers? Ron DeSantis, who is vehemently against vaccinations and mask mandates? Greg Abbott? Proud of the Oathkeepers and the Proud Boys?

      Glad you’re proud of your legacy.

      Oh, but I forgot. Conservatism isn’t the same as Trump! It’s about fiscal responsibility, reduced government spending, laissez faire capitalism! Yeah, well, Obama balanced the budget and got us back from the rampant national deficit. Guess what your dearly beloved Republican party did during the years it was in power.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Don’t feed the trolls please. This person is banned.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      sorry, didn’t see your post CB, it wasn’t up when I responding.

    • Miranda says:

      You’re a member of a a violently racist, misogynistic, anti-science death cult built around dangerous conspiracy theories that have resulted in racially motivated massacres and individual murders of peaceful protesters, and is actively working to undermine democratic elections. What an accomplishment.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      Lol. When that’s something you feel you need to say, you might want to check your voting patterns.

    • Valerie says:

      Yikes.

  7. Lkay says:

    “Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies…”

    Umm Donald Trump is an old white dude. She was just excited he was putting his racism/sexism right out there.

  8. OriginalLala says:

    “Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies” – that’s literally what the Trump administration was!

  9. Amy Bee says:

    She said liked what he was saying. That means she’s as racist and misogynistic as him.

  10. Agirlandherdog says:

    “Maybe it won’t be all these old white men telling women what to do with their bodies…”

    This statement alone is sufficient evidence to show she was completely unqualified and unprepared for the job to which she was appointed (which, to be fair, is a statement that can apply to almost every Trump appointee).

  11. lucy2 says:

    “When he first started, I loved the stuff he said.” Oh, really, Stephanie? Which stuff? The racism? The attacks on a disabled reported? The birther lies about Obama? The attacks on Gold Star families? Or do you want to go way back to the Central Park 5 stuff, or his 9/11 comments and lies?
    He’s been a racist, lying crook for his entire life, and has been so openly for the world to see. No one gets to sit back now and say “it was good in the beginning”. IT WAS NEVER GOOD.
    Shame on her for being part of it, and for trying to cash in now with a book deal. I hope she’s a pariah forever.

    • Lucy says:

      Literally what I said. I can’t believe that she’s even trying this as a redemptive line.

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      The Obama birther stuff. That is definitely what his base loved the most, even if they won’t say it.

  12. Adorable says:

    I appreciate her candor.I feel like we’re quick to dismiss an apology or regret these days,as if we don’t have any in our personal lives.Granted was her”a big deal”absolutely.But she’s admitted her mistakes & her wrongs & that should count for something.

    • josephine says:

      Except that it doesn’t feel like candor at all. I agree that we should not be quick to dismiss an apology, but we have the right to — and should — judge the quality of that apology. If it’s more lies, it’s not an apology. If it’s a self-serving attempt to rebrand, we have the right to question it. If she doesn’t accept responsibility for her role in perpetuating the horror, it’s hollow and meaningless.

      Tired of people being evil and then thinking a “sorry I offended you/my blood sugar was low/I was young/I have black friends/I’m a victim/mistakes were made” kind of apology wipes away their history.

      Continuing to sweep the filth under the rug is a huge part of the problem.

    • Lilpeppa40 says:

      @Adorable I firmly disagree. An apology and so-called regret doesn’t count for sh*t if there’s not actual action to back it up. Most apologies these days are lip service that don’t even actually include the words “I’m sorry” or a recognition of what they did wrong. Many comments have pointed out what she could do if she was truly sorry or brave. She’s done none of those things so she can miss me with her apology. Trump is evil, no two ways about it but he was always upfront about that so I actually put a larger portion of the blame on his enablers. People like her who did and said nothing as he ran roughshod over norms and institutions. The politicians who put political expediency and fame above everything else. That’s what the Conservative party is now known for (they’ve been heading there a long time) and her apology now won’t turn back the Supreme Court, and won’t undo the destruction he wrought through politicizing the pandemic.

    • Giddy says:

      I’ll wait and see if she volunteers to help Democrats in their campaigns. Will she use her notoriety to keep pointing out the evil and treachery of the Trump administration? Will she use her insider knowledge to inform the public about specific candidates? Will she support their Democratic opponents? How much hatred is she willing to endure from the right? If she honestly does all that i might not like her, but I’ll at least she will have some redemption in my eyes.

    • Golly Gee says:

      She’s literally making money off of her supposed apology through her book. If she was truly repentant, she could have said all she had to say through interviews to the media for free.

    • Deering24 says:

      She helped this scum destroy lives. There are not enough apologies in the world for that evil. And I bet she’s not sorry at all.

  13. As noted by Hannah Arendt: the banality of evil.

  14. 50centish says:

    So, this is obviously the least important part of it all, but.. who do you think was told not present themselves sleeveless anymore? My money is on Kelli Ward – she was sleeveless on stage with trump without being super lean, so that must have left his ego trembling.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      Kelly Anne? The fired Fox News lady escort or his son? Anyone over the “expired” age of 35?

  15. Jane Wilson says:

    To say that behind the scenes, “he was charming, he was funny”, is a display of mental gymnastics beyond my comprehension. If you know even the barest facts of trump, you know he’s a narcissistic serial sexual abuser and singularly revolting, immoral liar, thief and world class creep. And I haven’t even mentioned his hair!
    To somehow find that THING charming and funny under any circumstances is a bridge to far for me.

  16. Stacy Dresden says:

    At least she said it I guess

  17. grabbyhands says:

    I don’t get what’s brave about this or any of the other insider books coming out now. All of them could have left the administration at any time, but they didn’t – they all stayed and sold the party line to anyone who would listen and aided and abetted everything this monster did for four years.

    The only reason any of them are sorry now is that the QAnon lunatics and Trumphumper yokels that make up the majority of his fan base aren’t able to give them the high profile jobs they all thought were going to be theirs for the taking. Anyone else higher on the food chain is scrambling to do what they can to get the spotlight off themselves so someone else gets investigated for all the illegal shiz going on at the White House during his tenure.

  18. Aimee says:

    I am EXTREMELY worried about the Democratic Party right now. They’re going to screw there way into a 2nd Trump presidency if they don’t get it together and pass the infrastructure bill, among other things that have gone wrong the last few months. There is no way Biden will run again and nobody seems to be happy with Harris right now. Who can go up against Trump in 2024 and win? God help us all.

    • Aimee says:

      Sorry, their.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I understand being concerned, but Donald Trump will not run in 2024. He’ll pretend to run for as long as possible to grift, but he will not be the Republican nominee. His health is much worse than Biden’s, plus Trump will likely be bankrupt and/or in prison. His refusal to admit he can’t do another primary cycle will delay & disrupt the nomination of an actual candidate, but they’ll nominate someone eventually. The real dangers to the country now & in the coming years are Mike Flynn & Peter Thiel. Flynn is a traitor & a true believer. Thiel is a sociopath who will be happy to watch the world burn while he counts his money. Trump now is a monster who has outlived his usefulness.

      Biden & Harris will get most of their agenda through. There are lots of people who don’t want them to succeed, so they try to make them & their plans seem less popular than they are.

    • Truthiness says:

      I’m extremely worried about reproductive rights, voting rights, the income gap, civil rights, and planet earth. Daylight is burning and that previous guy destroyed everything he could touch, which was a lot.

  19. Valerie says:

    Okay, look: I get that she was in an abusive environment. Once you’re locked into a position like that, it’s difficult to extricate yourself from it, and harder still when your boss is a vindictive sociopath. But she knew who he was before she aligned herself with him. Everyone did.

    At the heart of it, she shared (shares!) his ideals: She said herself that she liked his policies, but it was his personality and treatment of those who worked for him that got in the way. In other words, it’s a reiteration of the usual GOP bullshit: If it happens to someone else, it’s not my problem. If it happens to me, it’s everyone’s problem. I have no sympathy for her.

    • AmB says:

      “If it happens to someone else, it’s not my problem. If it happens to me, it’s everyone’s problem.”

      Well put. I’d even raise it to “If it happens to me, it’s a farking tragedy and everybody must take notice!”

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    He did cover the world with a blanket of evil. In my own tiny orbit, he stole my silliness, my cackle and my joyful disposition. He stole my hope. He clawed a gaping hole in the atmosphere letting in hordes of screaming, scurrying, evil minion bugs which chewed away sanity, grace, quality and knowledge. Continuing to see his repulsive visage in the news is mortifying.

  21. TeeBee says:

    I don’t think she is stupid. But I don’t think she is brave either. She is and was an opportunist. I think Trump was an opportunity for her to get on board an administration that was a lot of flash and not a whole lot of substance. And this is a great position for someone who is hooked on the spotlight, or at least gunning for more space on the stage. That she lasted as long as she did, that is something. And that is not in her favour. She could have and should have thrown in the towel a lot sooner, and the fact that she didn’t isn’t so easily explained with these conscience clearing mea cuplas. She wouldn’t have made much of a splash before with her gossipy tidbits, and she is one of many now that want some kind of sympathy for admitting her part in the Trump shit show. Early to the party and still last to leave is no accomplishment, actually shows how tone deaf she really is.

    That is the thing with anyone that sought out or participated in the Trump presidency. They all knew what he was like fairly early on. And they joined in anyway. Because they are all selfish arrogant narcissists at their core. And they gambled. If Trump had done 8 years, then they’d have that much more time to leverage the shit out of the administration, and there’d be no lessons learned. But he didn’t, and everyone is pissed. And now it’s commiseration time.

    I also didn’t appreciate her comment about Liberals, not coming around. What the hell we supposed to come around to? That you’re not actually that bad a person, that you’re brave to finally speak up, that we should pat you on the back for having a conscience? GTFOOH…

  22. Deering24 says:

    “ How obsessed he was with Sunset Boulevard.”

    Since that and Citizen Kane are his fav movies, one doesn’t have to wonder why he likes tales of demented egomaniacs…🤣😈😎

  23. Rise & Shine says:

    Yeah yeah, whatever lady. Can tell you though that some of what she has said is true. Meanwhile, come on NY state and NYC on Trump Organization and family charges! And yes let’s get this infrastructure deal passed now, great for the country and good for us too. Seriously, Trump Kushners not only botched the Covid response and cost us so many lives, but attempted a coup d’etat! We have to continue work on Jan 6 investigations. And unbelievably this Trump/Kushner Presidency could potentially happen again? NO. Just no. Mid terms coming, I’m going to start to really pay attention. Kaiser, I believe, you or if not you, one of our lovely people here mentioned what’s going on in Virginia is so important now. Have a little time so going to try to help out there, any advise or specific ways to help? Let me know Kaiser, CB and friends here. LOVE.