First lady Melania Trump believed her husband's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, according to her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham.
In Grisham's soon-to-be-released tell-all memoir, "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House," she compares the former first lady to infamous French queen Marie Antoinette, according to a excerpts obtained by Politico's Daniel Lippman.
Grisham, who also served as Trump's press secretary and communications director but never gave a briefing, reports in the book that on Jan. 6, after rioters broke through Capitol barricades, she sent Melania Trump a text message saying, "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?"
The first lady, who reportedly was at the White House preparing for a photo shoot of a rug she had selected, responded in a one-word text: "No."
"Grisham joined the Trump campaign in 2015 and, despite her misgivings, remained with the White House until close to the end,' Politico reported Monday. "She writes that Melania's response to her text on Jan. 6 'broke' her since she had long defended the first lady against accusations that she was a Marie Antoinette-type dilettante. Now, Grisham writes, she sees Melania like 'the doomed French queen. Dismissive. Defeated. Detached.'"
Grisham, who resigned shortly after the Jan. 6 text message exchange, had also reportedly asked Melania Trump if she should reach out to Jill Biden to set up the traditional inauguration tea.
"But instead of setting up the meeting, Melania told her that they should 'see what the West Wing does,'" Politico reported. "The reason, according to Grisham: Melania, like her husband, believed the election was illegitimate."
Grisham reportedly was "shocked" to learn that that Melania Trump agreed with her husband about his false claims of election fraud, with the former first lady claiming that "something bad happened."
"She didn't listen to Grisham when she tried to explain to her that there are small irregularities in all elections but there was no grand conspiracy to unfairly remove Trump from office, according to the book," Politico reported.
A publishing source said Grisham's book also contains "potentially unflattering nuggets" about other White House officials, including Jared Kushner and Mark Meadows.
"Stephanie knows she's stirred up a hornet's nest with this book," the source said. "Stephanie has secrets about Trump that even the first lady doesn't know. Secrets that he doesn't want her to know. They will be in this book."
Grisham reportedly is bracing for a smear campaign and possible lawsuits to block the book's publication, which is set for Oct. 5.