White House reporter reveals what surprised him from Stephanie Grisham's new book -- and what he thinks is BS
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White House reporter Jonathan Lemire knocked down one of the claims in Stephanie Grisham's new book.

The former White House insider is spilling salacious details about the Donald Trump presidency, which she served first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and then as press secretary, but Lemire offered some context from his own time covering the 2016 campaign and then the administration.

"During the 2015-2016 campaign, she was what is known as a press wrangler, meaning the campaign staffer who would stay with the traveling press corps, myself included, as we went from city to city, rally to rally," Lemire said. "She was there every single day, she saw every single speech. Once Donald Trump was elected, she moved over to the first lady's office for a time, became very loyal and close to the former first lady Melania Trump, which is why some of the Trump orbit reacted strongly to this book. It is not very flattering portrayal of the former first lady. Then she moved to be press secretary, as you said, never took a single question, never held a formal briefing. Then eventually moved back to the first lady's office. "

"You know, a lot of these books written from Trump-era advisers are certainly about reputation salvaging, of course," he continued. "Look, authors get paid, there's that, too. It is also made reflective of concerns about her future employment history being so closely aligned to the Trump team. I'm sure, for some, it is a guilty conscience, maybe that's what we're seeing at play here."

One anecdote from the book for which Lemire was present rings a bit false, however, while another genuinely surprised him.

"The Putin moment she describes in the book, it wasn't like President Trump was tough with Vladimir Putin," he said. "I was at the summit. He mockingly waved his finger and said, 'Don't interfere in our elections,' and It was clearly a joke. That came across as tough. Behind the scenes, we know he was even friendlier to his Russian counterpart."

"I also wanted to share one other detail from the book that I found extraordinary," he added. "She writes that there is a Trump aide in the White House who was designated as the 'music man,' to play him his favorite show tunes, including 'Memory,' from 'Cats.' They'd play the songs when the president was in a bit of a rage. The music was meant to calm him down."


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