From Donald Trump's mysterious 2019 visit to Walter Reed hospital, to his decision to ban travel from China in response to COVID-19, a "culture of lies" consumed the former president's administration, according to a new book from his one-time press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
"Casual dishonesty filtered through the White House as if it were in the air conditioning system," Grisham writes in "I'll Take Your Questions Now," according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the forthcoming tell-all.
Back in January, the Post reported that Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims over four years — but that figure didn't necessarily include those detailed in Grisham's book.
In 2019, Trump visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center without telling the media why, resulting in a "days-long mystery in the national news," the Post reports.
However, Grisham implies in the book that Trump's Walter Reed visit was for the purpose of undergoing a simple colonoscopy, although she doesn't actually use the word.
"As for the elaborate concealment — Grisham writes that Trump was resistant to having Vice President Mike Pence in power even for a short period of time, and he didn't want to be 'the butt of a joke' on late-night TV," the Post reports.
Grisham suggests that Trump could have used the bully pulpit to "demystify colonoscopies and save lives," the Post reports.
"But as with COVID, he was too wrapped up in his own ego and his own delusions about his invincibility," according to Grisham.
Trump also lied about his decision to ban travel from China in the early days of the pandemic. He didn't actually want to impose the travel ban, despite his later claims that he did, but "the upcoming election influenced every decision Trump made about the pandemic," according to Grisham.
"Sometimes the staff even lied to Trump," the Post reports. "When President George H.W. Bush died, the staff arranged for the former president's family to have use of Air Force One, as is customary, but obscured most of the details from Trump for fear of his reaction. The airplane was used to carry Bush's service dog, Sully, his family and his casket to the funeral."
Grisham writes: "We knew he wouldn't be okay with that, even for a brief trip. Dead bodies, death, sickness — those things really seemed to creep him out."