Top Melania Trump aide Stephanie Grisham resigns
Stephanie Grisham, a longtime aide to first lady Melania Trump, has resigned, she confirmed in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday evening.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump’s mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration,” Grisham said.
Grisham served as the first lady’s communications director and chief of staff, with a brief stint as the White House press secretary in between. Her resignation came in response to pro-Trump rioters storming the Capitol building, CNN reported.
The first lady has not publicly commented on the mobs at the Capitol, which came after President Trump urged them to go protest the certification of electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president. Grisham had not responded earlier in the day to a request for comment from The Hill.
Thousands of Trump supporters descended on Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as a joint session of Congress prepared to certify the electoral votes as the president argued lawmakers should block the certification.
In an address to supporters at the White House Ellipse on Wednesday morning, Trump urged attendees to march to the Capitol and make their voices heard. Shortly after the joint session convened, rioters breached the building, prompting the evacuation of Vice President Pence, lawmakers, staff and press.
Trump has done little to quell the unrest, and has instead offered his tacit approval for those wanting to challenge the results. In a series of tweets that have since been blocked by Twitter, Trump told supporters to “go home” while simultaneously arguing his election defeat was “fraudulent” and that they were “special.”
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Several former White House officials condemned the violence in Washington or called on Trump to do more to stop it. Ex-White House communications director and Pence aide Alyssa Farah posted multiple tweets urging an end to the riots, while former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump’s initial tweet calling for calm was insufficient.
But Grisham is a rare instance of a current White House official responding to the unrest. National security adviser Robert O’Brien tweeted his support for Pence, who drew Trump’s wrath by saying he could not unilaterally reject electors for Biden.
Grisham was a Trump campaign aide before joining the administration as the first lady’s spokeswoman. She took over as White House press secretary after Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s departure in 2019.
Grisham returned to the East Wing in April having never held a formal press briefing as press secretary.
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