Grisham: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump saw themselves as 'shadow president and first lady'

Former press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamBiden briefly transfers power to Harris while he gets colonoscopy Grisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony MORE on Tuesday said Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerBiden celebrates start of Hanukkah Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report Watchdog finds no money has flowed out of agency tasked by Trump admin to fight pandemic MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpBiden celebrates start of Hanukkah Meadows comes under growing Jan. 6 panel spotlight Tucker Carlson rips Graham over report he told officers to shoot Jan. 6 rioters MORE, former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE’s son-in-law and daughter, saw themselves as a “shadow president and first lady.”

Grisham — during an interview on CNN’s "New Day" about her book “I’ll Take Your Questions Now” — said Kushner “got really heady with power” and would insert himself into initiatives that he was not qualified to take part in.

“He would dive into these areas where I know he had absolutely no expertise. And, you know, claim to save the day and then he would leave. And, you know, there was a running joke in the White House that when things were getting really tough they suddenly disappeared on vacations,” Grisham said.


“He was tough to deal with and I think he got really heady with power. I do not think he left there the best version of himself,” she added.

Grisham’s new comments about Ivanka Trump and Kushner — whom she said she dubbed “the interns” during her time at the White House — came on the morning that her book was released. News outlets that obtained early copies have already reported on a number of stunning and scathing revelations from her four years serving in the Trump administration.


Grisham served as press secretary for nine months, never holding a briefing, before moving to first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpBidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's message on the 'omicron' variant Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE's office. She was also White House communications director at one point.

The former press secretary told CNN that Kushner, who she calls “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit” in the book, “did what he wanted and nobody challenged him,” citing one instance when the son-in-law and senior adviser to the president defied the chief of staff’s rules on hiring personnel.

She said she believes that while Kushner is “an intelligent man,” Ivanka Trump is “the brains” and “the smarter one,” noting that she is “very controlling of her image,” and remains calm and controlled in person, which, Grisham said, “is unlike her father.”

She also said Ivanka Trump and Kushner thought they were the royal family, pointing to the state dinner with the queen when the pair thought they should be part of all activities the president and first lady were taking part in, something she thought was “really inappropriate.”

Grisham, in the book, recalls one scene from her time at the White House when Ivanka Trump and Kushner were blocked from attending a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II because of a lack of space on a helicopter.


But more often they got their way, Grisham said. She recalled that on the administration’s final foreign trip to India, Ivanka Trump and Kushner were negotiating what stops the administration would make, and they were a part of tour that Prime Minister Narendra Modi were giving to the president and first lady.

“They were always right there and it was really inappropriate. And that would make Mrs. Trump upset because she is a big rule follower in terms of protocol and whatnot, and it was just really inappropriate,” Grisham said.

“So we in the East Wing would do what we could to stop it or mitigate it," she added, "but at the end of the day, it's his daughter and son-in-law, and nobody could work around them.”