Melania Trump Says She Was 'Unaware' of Riot on Jan. 6, Blames Staffer Who Said She Was at a Rug Photoshoot

“This is a very significant undertaking and requires great care, attention to detail, and concentration — both in the planning and execution,” the first lady said of her activities on Jan. 5, 2021

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump stands in front of the White House Christmas Tree at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Oregon residents Dan and Anne Taylor of West's Tree Farm presented the Christmas Tree and the tree will be displayed in the White House Blue Room. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty

Melania Trump is speaking out about her silence on the day a mob of her husband Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attack House lawmakers allege was part of a plan to disrupt and overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

"On January 6, 2021, I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building," the former first lady told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Trump's former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, wrote in her tell-all book, I'll Take Your Questions Now, that by the end of 2020 and early 2021 the first lady had grown disinterested in some of pivotal political events at the end of the Trump presidency. 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 — were cited as examples.

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"As with all First Ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House's historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations," Mrs. Trump explained in her statement to Fox News, which she later tweeted in its entirety.

"Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution," she continued. "As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation."

Donald Melania trump
From left: Donald and Melania Trump. Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

"This is a very significant undertaking and requires great care, attention to detail, and concentration — both in the planning and execution," she added, according to Fox News.

On June 28, Grisham tweeted a screen shot of an alleged text message between her and the first lady.

"Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" Grisham asked the first lady, according to the text message she posted.

"No," came the reply from a person labeled "MT" in the text message.

Despite the apparent communication between them, Trump blamed Grisham for being uninformed in her statement to Fox News.

"Ms. Grisham was not in the White House on January 6, and her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty," Trump said, adding that "traditionally, the First Lady's Chief of Staff provides detailed briefings surrounding our Nation's important issues."

Stephanie Grisham (left) and Melania Trump. Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Shutterstock; Shutterstock

"In fact, Ms. Grisham failed to provide insight and information into the events surrounding January 6 as she had abandoned her post in Washington, D.C.," Trump continued. "Shamefully, this behavior has only partially become public knowledge; yet was consistent for Ms. Grisham."

Grisham, who served as the first lady's communications director as well as chief of staff and as one of President Trump's press secretaries. She resigned within hours of the Capitol being breached on Jan. 6, 2021.

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