Stephanie Grisham, the former First Lady’s Chief of Staff, has been dropping truth bombs all week in preparation for the release of her new tell-all book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now, and her latest reveal paints Trump’s daughter and son-in-law in a particularly unflattering light.
According to a new passage from the book published by Politico, Grisham blames the administration’s early stumbles in managing the COVID-19 pandemic on Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Grisham details the early days of the pandemic when Trump and the rest of his inner circle were still questioning whether closing the borders and issuing travel bans was “making too big a deal” of the virus. She describes how Kushner strong-armed the president into a trip in to India in February 2020, despite Trump’s reluctance to go and the First Lady’s concerns about the growing spread. But it’s how she lays out the Kushners interference in Trump’s much-maligned Oval Office address in March of that year, just as the first COVID-19 wave was breaking here in the U.S., that’s especially damning.
“It was a total clusterfuck from start to finish because Ivanka and her crew wanted her father to be on TV,” Grisham writes in the book after detailing how hated the Kushners were by other staff members, including the First Lady. “When I worked for the first lady in the East Wing, we had all come to call Jared and Ivanka ‘the interns’ because they represented in our minds obnoxious, entitled know-it-alls. Mrs. Trump found that nickname amusing and occasionally used it herself. Now, during one of the most important crises to hit the country in a century, the interns were behaving true to form.”
Grisham goes on to describe the administration’s plan for addressing the outbreak as “a clown car on fire running at full speed into a warehouse full of fireworks” and says she felt both “disgusted” and “embarrassed” when Kushner commandeered Covid meetings, practically usurping Vice President Mike Pence’s authority to lay out his own uneducated thoughts on how to curb the spread.
“It felt completely irresponsible and against protocol, which is the epitome of Jared Kushner in the Trump White House,” Grisham writes. “There was no reason that he should be sitting with the speechwriter laying out our nation’s plan to fight a global pandemic. And I knew that if things went badly with the speech, which felt inevitable, he would be the first person to say in the president’s ear that the comms team had fucked it all up. He was Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit.”
Well, she’s not entirely wrong.