Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Thursday that former President Trump was “gleeful” as he watched as his supporters descend on the Capitol last Jan. 6. “He was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV as he often did. ‘Look at all those people fighting for me.’ Hitting rewind. Watching it again. That’s what I know,” she told CNN’s New Day.
Grisham on Wednesday met with the Jan. 6 committee, which is trying to piece together what Trump was doing in the three-plus hours between when his speech at the Ellipse ended and he finally called on his supporters ransacking the Capitol to stand down. Grisham told reporters she “cooperated fully” with the committee. She told CNN on Thursday that she spend “about an hour” with the committee and answered “every question that they asked of me, and I’m going to continue to cooperate.”
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told CNN that a group of former Trump administration officials plan to meet in the coming weeks to "try and stop" Trump as he continues to “manipulate people and divide our country.”https://t.co/tJBeFi0zKS pic.twitter.com/jJPV4Vuc8s
— New Day (@NewDay) January 6, 2022
Trump delighting in the violent attack on the Capitol isn’t surprising. The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that “Trump has repeatedly made fun of the idea that certain legislators, police, or journalists were traumatized by the violent events of the day,” according to several sources spoken to by the outlet, who also noted that the former president has at times believes people are “faking” their post-Jan. 6 trauma. The Daily Beast previously reported that Trump privately referred to the Capitol Police officers who spoke to Congress as “pussies.”
Grisham added on Thursday that she spent “about an hour” with the committee, and answered “every question that they asked of me, and I’m going to continue to cooperate.” She told the committee she spoke with them about planning for Jan. 6 and “conversations that were happening” beforehand and during the attack.
Grisham described Fox News host Sean Hannity as a “shadow advisor” to Trump, and said she spoke with him often when she worked at the White House. “He definitely advised the president on many, many things to do. So it didn’t surprise me he was reaching out to Meadows or anybody else because that was something he did often to get a message to the president,” Grisham said. The Jan. 6 committee has requested Hannity’s voluntary cooperation after discovering numerous texts he sent to Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, including a message he sent on the day of the attack urging Meadows to get Trump to make a statement asking people to leave the Capitol.
“Where was the line between Sean Hannity and Fox and the White House?” New Day host John Berman asked.
While Grisham said she can’t speak to the network as a whole, “there were definitely” hosts in its primetime lineup — Judge Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Laura Ingraham and Hannity — who “were all acting as advisors,” adding that “on the night on election night before he took the stage, Judge Jeanine and Laura Ingraham were in the room trying to tell him what to go out there and say.”
Grisham also announced that a contingent of approximately 15 former Trump staffers have banded together in the hopes of preventing him from running again in 2024. Although she wouldn’t name names, Grisham told CNN that they include staff members who were both senior and junior to her. “Next week, a group of former Trump staff — administration officials — are going to come together, and we’re gonna talk about how we can formally do some things to try and stop him and also the extremism, that kind of violence and rhetoric,” she said. Grisham added that she wants to travel the country speaking to Trump supporters “who are believers like I once was” to help them understand that Trump “cares about no one but himself” and is a “master manipulator.”
“I’ve been watching this past year, as the president continues to manipulate people and divide our country because he has a fragile ego,” Grisham said. “And that’s all there is to it.”