Few will ever truly know what it’s like to live and work inside the White House as a first lady of the United States, or the pressure that comes with maintaining a family life and a public role, all while balancing the duty to both a spouse and the country. As President Donald Trump’s press secretary and then chief of staff to First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham had a close-up view at this process.
In her upcoming book I’ll Take Your Questions Now, Grisham reveals much of what she saw of a first lady the Secret Service nicknamed “Rapunzel,” The Washington Post reports, because like the beautiful woman trapped in a tower, Mrs. Trump rarely left the confines of the White House. Agents even requested the assignment of protecting the first lady because it allowed them more time with their families, Grisham alleges in the book.
The Post and other media outlets have obtained copies of the 352-page book by Grisham, who served in the Trump White House until Jan. 6 when she resigned because of how it handled the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Mrs. Trump, 51, isn’t pleased with her former chief of staff, who reportedly writes about the anger she felt over reports of her husband’s infidelities, her preference to travel comfortably (allegedly changing into a robe and slippers as soon as she boarded Air Force One) and insecurities about her accent and writing in English, which isn’t her first language.
In a statement previously released to PEOPLE, the Office of Melania Trump said of Grisham: “The intent behind this book is obvious. It is an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as Press Secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House. Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump.”
There’s an entire chapter in the book about Mrs. Trump’s infamous “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket she wore to visit migrant children in Texas, according to the Post. Grisham reportedly writes that she was too busy organizing the trip to keep the first lady from wearing the $39 Zara jacket on the well-photographed stop at the border with Mexico.
Back at the White House, Grisham writes — according to The New York Times — she and Mrs. Trump were in the Oval Office when the president asked, “What the hell were you thinking?” He later decided to say in a tweet that the jacket’s message was directed at the “Fake News Media.”
According to The Times, the book documents Mrs. Trump’s anger with her husband — with whom she has a son, Barron, 15 — while alleged affairs with other women dominated the news cycle. “After the Stormy Daniels story broke and all the allegations that followed from other women,” Grisham reportedly writes, “I felt that Mrs. Trump was basically unleashed.”
Taking the arm of a military aide hand-selected for his good looks at her husband’s State of the Union address, cropping the president out of photos she posted and leaving him out of her tweets were ways Mrs. Trump tried to needle her husband, according to reports about the book.
As the presidency progressed and came to an end, Grisham reportedly claims Mrs. Trump was more disinterested in doing what was expected of her. Sleeping through election night and attending a photo shoot of a rug on Jan. 6 — while declining to comment on the attack at the U.S. Capitol that day — are cited as examples.