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Stephanie Grisham, former White House Communications Director and Press Secretary has made waves by trying to turn over a new leaf, disavowing her old boss with accusations of impropriety with certain journalists.
Making the rounds to promote her new book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which purports to be a tell-all about her time in the Trump administration, Grisham appeared on CNN’s New Day on the anniversary of the fateful January 6th riots.
The biggest allegation to come out so far is that Fox News’ Sean Hannity was involved with the administration as a shadow advisor, breaching professional standards of propriety between a journalist and an official. Grisham accused Hannity of acting like a “shadow advisor” to Trump, helping him manage messy situations like the January 6th incident.
“I spoke to [Hannity] all the time. I sat with him prior to interviews he would do with the president. And he definitely advised the president on many, many things to do. So it didn’t surprise me that he was reaching out to [former White House Chief of Staff Mark] Meadows or anybody else. That was something that was done quite often to try to get messages to the president.”
Grisham went on to accuse several other Fox hosts of effectively-being PR managers for Trump, while responding to a question from host John Berman about “where was the line between Sean Hannity and Fox and the White House? Was there a line?”
“I can’t speak to Fox as a whole. I think there’s some good reporters there. But I would say you’ve got your evening hosts, like Judge Jeanine [Pirro], Maria [Bartiromo] in the morning. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham. They were all acting as advisers oftentimes. In fact, on election night, the night before he took the stage, Judge Jeanine and Laura Ingraham were in the room.”
Hannity’s relationship with Trump has recently been the focus of the January 6th committee, specifically over the same texts Grisham spoke to between him and Meadows (along with Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH). It’s no secret that Hannity was a fierce defender of Trump, though whether that flattery breached professional – or legal- standards is not necessarily a proven fact.
The about-face by Grisham herself on the subject of Trump and her service to him has certainly raised eyebrows as well. While some on the left will undoubtedly accept her mea culpa, others question her motives and credibility. Where the self-serving attempt to escape blame for the Trump administration’s controversies ends and the sincere change of heart begins is hard to say, given that there are a number of errors in her transcript that others called out back in October, when the book first came out.
As Robert Mackey at The Intercept wrote:
“Unfortunately, while much of what Grisham writes about the Trumps’ off-screen behavior rings true, her account of what she witnessed in the Trump White House is riddled with factual errors and what appear to be trace elements of cover stories she invented for the press that eventually lodged themselves in her memory, displacing in her mind the contrary evidence of her own eyes and ears.”
Grisham is no stranger to controversy and also raised the ire of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, another friend of Melania Trump.
In response to the book, Wolkoff accused Grisham of being an opportunist with a loose relationship with the truth:
“[Grisham] swooped in Melania Trump’s inner circle when I, a close friend and adviser to the first lady, was in the hospital recovering from back surgery, and helped lay the blame for a gross mismanagement of inauguration funds squarely on my back.”
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