Melania and White House aides called Ivanka and Jared ‘the interns’ because they were ‘obnoxious, know-it-alls’ and ‘disgusted’ staff when they tried to intervene in the COVID response, Stephanie Grisham’s book claims
- Grisham called Jared Kushner the ‘real’ chief of staff and terms him ‘Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit’
- But she also writes she and Melania Trump also termed Jared and Ivanka ‘interns’
- In her new book Grisham raps the power couple for inserting themselves into meetings
- She describes a key COVID meeting with top staff that both attended
- They clashed over whether Trump should deliver Oval Office address on COVID
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s new book is packed with condemnations of power couple Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump – and claims they meddled and muddied the early response to the coronavirus pandemic.
She writes in her new tell-all book that Kushner’s ‘arrogance and presumption had grown over the years, and he threw his power about with absolutely no shame.’
‘He was Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit,’ she writes of Trump’s son-in-law.
Grisham, a longtime Trump aide who later served as chief of staff to former first lady Melania Trump, writes that Kushner often took over meetings – even when Vice President Mike Pence was there – as the ‘real’ chief of staff.
But she and Melania Trump also sometimes dissed Javanka as ‘the interns’ for their tendency to jump into all manner of subjects in the White House.
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and first lady Melania Trump would call Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump the ‘interns’ for their role as ‘know-it-alls,’ according to Grisham
‘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,’ writes Grisham in her new book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now, with her musings on Javanka excerpted in Politico.
Their involvement became problematic in the early days of the pandemic, as the White House struggled to come up with a policy and a communications response.
‘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,’ she writes.
‘It was another example of Jared sticking his nose into things that weren’t his expertise.’
One clash came in March, after the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Top aides were debating a partial travel ban – and whether Trump should address the nation to convey the seriousness of the pandemic.
Grisham blasts Kushner for ‘sticking his nose into things that weren’t his expertise’
Top aides clashed over whether Trump should deliver an Oval Office address after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic
‘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,’ writes Grisham
Grisham (pictured) in her new book raps the power couple for inserting themselves into meetings. Here Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (2nd L) and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump (C) attend a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump at the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019
Grisham invited herself to one of the meetings she writes ‘just “happened” all the time.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx were there, and advisors pitched closing the nation’s borders to travelers from Europe. Another topic was whether Trump should speak to the nation amid growing alarm.
‘In the middle of all the discussion, Ivanka kept chiming in, “But I think there should probably be an address to the nation tonight.” I let that pass because in my mind there was no way we could pull one off with no speech prepared, no communications strategy, no consensus on anything we had just started discussing, and only a few hours’ notice,’ writes Grisham. ‘We did a lot of random things in Trump World, but that just seemed too crazy even for us.’
Aides clashed over whether the nation should close borders (although the initial policy would take hits for being inconsistent).
‘Finally, Ivanka turned to her most powerful ally besides her father. “Jared, don’t you agree?” Any guesses as to what Jared replied?’ Grisham writes.
She had her own doubts about a presidential address – but admits she didn’t share them at the time.
‘In my mind I kept saying, “This is not a reality TV show. We cannot address the nation with a bunch of mumbo jumbo just so he looks presidential. That’s not how this works,’ she wrote.
And Ivanka, the women’s rights / small-business / crisis communications / and now Covid expert, just kept repeating, “There should be an address from the Oval.”
Trump told aides to ‘figure out what to do,’ according to Grisham.
That led to more interventions by the president’s daughter, writes Grisham. Both Jared and Ivanka served as unpaid senior advisors to the president.
‘Ivanka was also doing her “my father” wants this and “my father” thinks that routine, making it impossible for staff members to argue a contrary view,’ she wrote.
She was ‘outraged’ by Kushner’s behavior because ‘he was not an expert’ on borders, the economy, or health consequences of the moves Trump would announce.
‘After he wrote the speech, there was no time for fact-checking, vetting, or notifying friends and allies on the Hill or abroad. There was hardly any time for the president to read it and make changes to it. It was a total clusterf*** from start to finish because Ivanka and her crew wanted her father to be on TV.’
‘And of course the speech that night contained a number of misstatements and sloppy wording,’ she wrote. But when Trump’s speech and delivery led to some confusion and required cleanup, it didn’t weight down the power couple.
‘No, they were in the dining room off of the Oval Office, Trump’s usual hangout, congratulating themselves and telling the president how awesome he was.’
Grisham quit the White House after the Capitol riot Jan. 6th.
Neither Ivanka Trump nor Jared Kushner have commented on the book, although former President Trump trashed it in a statement that went after Grisham’s personal life (she previously dated former Trump White House aide Max Miller).
‘Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning. She became very angry and bitter after her break up and as time went on she was seldom relied upon, or even thought about. She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself. Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things,’ Trump said in a statement through his spokeswoman.
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