Ex-Trump aide says Jared Kushner had 'absolutely no shame' exerting his power in the White House
Category: News & PoliticsVia: john-russell • 3 weeks ago • 11 comments
By: email@example.com (Eliza Relman) 2 hrs ago (MSN)
- Stephanie Grisham reserved some of her harshest criticism in her forthcoming memoir for Jared Kushner.
- Kushner considered himself the president's "'real' chief of staff," Grisham wrote in her tell-all memoir.
- Grisham said much of what Kushner did in the White House was "completely irresponsible and against protocol."
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Stephanie Grisham, the former White House press secretary and communications director, reserved some of her harshest criticism in her forthcoming memoir for top White House official and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Grisham wrote in her tell-all, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," that Kushner considered himself the president's "'real' chief of staff" and exerted nearly unmatched authority within the White House, even "calling all the shots" in a pivotal meeting with Vice President Mike Pence concerning the administration's early actions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Grisham wrote that she felt "embarrassed and disgusted" when Kushner "commandeered" the meeting with Pence and other White House senior staff.
She said she was privately "outraged" that Kushner hastily dictated the president's national address on March 11, in which Trump announced he would ban travel from Europe and that health insurance companies would waive co-pays on COVID-19 treatment, among other important announcements.
"The more I thought about it, the more outraged I grew at Jared's behavior," she wrote, according to an excerpt of her book published by Politico on Friday. "He was not an expert on any of those things - shutting down borders, the economic consequences, the health consequences - yet he alone seemed to be deciding the nation's first actions to address one of the most devastating crises in our history."
She described one instance in which Kushner reportedly helped convince Trump to go through with a planned trip to India and dictated security measures on the ground in late February 2020, despite concerns about the pandemic.
"It felt completely irresponsible and against protocol, which is the epitome of Jared Kushner in the Trump White House," she wrote.
Former First Lady Melania Trump reportedly agreed that both Kushner and her step-daughter, Ivanka Trump, had unmerited power in the White House. Melania, Grisham, and other aides to the first lady privately mocked the two as "interns."
"When I worked for the first lady in the East Wing, we had all come to call Jared and Ivanka 'the interns' because they represented in our minds obnoxious, entitled know-it-alls," Grisham wrote. "Mrs. Trump found that nickname amusing and occasionally used it herself."
Grisham went on to write that Kushner's "arrogance and presumption" grew during his time in the White House, where he "threw his power about with absolutely no shame."
"I would venture to say that being in the White House changed Jared as a person," she wrote. "He was Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit."
Both the former first lady and president have condemned Grisham in recent weeks in personal terms, suggesting that Grisham's split from former White House official Max Miller last year provoked her criticism of the Trump White House.
"Stephanie didn't have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning," Trump told The New York Times in a statement. "She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself."