The chaotic scene from Washington, D.C. yesterday, which left the world watching as violent extremists forced their way into the Capitol building, has sparked what can only be described as an “abandon ship” mentality to many once loyal Trump supporters.
On Wednesday afternoon, CNN reported that the former White House communications director, and current chief of staff for First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham, has formally resigned in the wake of the riots. In an official statement posted to Twitter, she announced, “It has been an honor to serve the country in the @WhiteHouse. I am very proud to have been a part of @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP mission to help children everywhere, & proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration. Signing off now – you can find me at @OMGrisham.”
Although the long-time aide and former press secretary didn’t give a reason for her decision to leave, the timing of her departure seems to speak volumes in and of itself. Politico reported that an unnamed source close to Grisham revealed to the outlet that the mayhem of the riots was “a tipping point.”
Stephanie Grisham isn't the only staffer to resign after the violent protests
With only two weeks left in Trump’s presidential term, Stephanie Grisham isn’t the only staffer to offer up a sudden and unexpected resignation. So far, three other Trump administration officials have vacated their employment including Mick Mulvaney, the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland. In an interview with CNBC as reported on by USA Today, Mulvaney who also happened to be President Trump’s former chief of staff, revealed, “Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of my friends resign over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.”
According to the outlet, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews was also among one of the first to step away from her role in the Trump administration after the disheartening events yesterday, announcing, “I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted. As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
Stephanie Grisham had been working with the current administration since 2015
Stephanie Grisham first started working with Trump as a campaign aide back in 2015, and she obviously made an impression because just two years later she was, according to People, hired by First Lady Melania Trump as her communications director. CNN described her as “the first lady’s most prominent staffer, acting as defender, enforcer and, often, protector.”
After a succession of White House press secretaries came and went, in 2019, she took on that role as well, although according to CNN she never held an actual live press briefing. Grisham was soon replaced by the current press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, leaving the door open for Grisham to take on the role of chief of staff for Mrs. Trump.
An anonymous source told CNN that although Grisham and Melania had what was described as a “very close” relationship, her decision to leave her employment at the White House was a long time coming. According to the outlet, “Grisham faced a barrage of challenges and what the source described as a ‘whisper campaign’ and ‘roadblocks’ launched by adversaries in the West Wing.”
There were also rumors swirling that Grisham wanted to move back home to be closer to family and friends, although the timing of her resignation suggests that a return to her roots was likely not the deciding factor.
First Lady Melania Trump has not commented on Grisham's resignation
Although many news outlets have cited that Stephanie Grisham and Melania Trump have a close relationship, The Hill noted that the first lady has been decidedly silent on the recent events plaguing the White House and the nation including her chief of staff’s swift resignation.
CNN reports that Grisham was one of the longest-serving Trump officials in his administration although she held many different hats during her tenure working with POTUS and FLOTUS. When someone so loyal to the administration and its ideals decides to suddenly disassociate from it, it seems like even the most innocuous resignation announcement posted to Twitter says a lot more than possibly intended. There is no word or speculation on whether Grisham intends to continue to pursue a career working in politics at this time.
In the meantime, USA Today is predicting that National security adviser Robert O’Brien and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddel will follow in Grisham’s footsteps and resign before President-elect Joe Biden’s formal swearing in ceremony.
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