Melania Trump didn’t trust Mark Meadows, was wary of other Trump allies during 2020 campaign

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Melania Trump has disputed a recent report by Politico that raised questions about her immigration status. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Mark J. Terrill

Melania Trump didn’t trust Mark Meadows, was wary of other Trump allies during 2020 campaign

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While former President Donald Trump was running his reelection bid, first lady Melania Trump didn’t trust some of his closest advisers and top White House officials, according to testimony from her former chief of staff.

After Stephanie Grisham transitioned from working as the White House press secretary to becoming Melania Trump’s chief of staff in April 2020, the former aide recalled a sense of distrust among the first lady and several of her husband’s closest aides, Grisham testified to the Jan. 6 committee. Among these were former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

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“She didn’t trust Mark Meadows, was what [Melania Trump] told me,” Grisham told the committee. “She was wary of Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, a lot of the people who were coming up into the residence and talking to the president. And then I think she was like constantly wondering, and I know she got on the phone with [Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel] a few times to ask where really are we with polling, because I don’t think she fully trusted the campaign necessarily.”

The latest details emerged in the latest dump of witness testimony released from the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday, which included transcripts from witness interviews with several of Trump’s closest aides — including Grisham, former speechwriter Stephen Miller, and his son Donald Trump Jr.

Grisham described a seemingly fractured work environment inside the White House during the second half of Donald Trump’s term, particularly between the West and East wings. After Grisham resigned as White House press secretary in April 2020 to work with Melania Trump, the first lady’s former chief of staff described the two wings as operating separately.

“We did our own thing. Mrs. Trump was well aware of the things that Mark Meadows was doing. She didn’t trust anybody at that point either,” Grisham said. “So Mrs. Trump just wanted to do her own thing and ignore the West Wing and work on her own initiatives.”

Part of this distrust toward Meadows was due to the ex-chief of staff’s treatment toward Grisham in her final weeks as the White House press secretary, she told the committee. Grisham told the committee she resigned from that position after Meadows accused her of leaking a story to the press that former President Donald Trump was relocated to a secure bunker during social justice protests in the summer of 2020.

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However, Melania Trump’s distrust only grew during the final months of her husband’s campaign.

“She felt that [Meadows] was letting a lot of people who were maybe being harmful to the President, giving him bad advice. He was clearing them into the residence or getting them into the Oval [Office],” Grisham testified. “Mrs. Trump never liked it when people would tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than the truth or reality of the situation, and she felt that Meadows was always just playing into his hand.”

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