Trump 'Gleefully' Viewed Jan. 6 Insurrection on TV, 'Hitting Rewind' to Watch Again, Former Aide Says

Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary who penned a scathing tell-all about Donald Trump’s presidency, is now an outspoken critic

Stephanie Grisham
Stephanie Grisham. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of Donald Trump's former press secretaries says he was so pleased with coverage of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol a year ago that he viewed it repeatedly from the White House.

"He was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV as he often did," Stephanie Grisham told CNN Thursday during an interview on New Day.

She added that Trump would say, "'Look at all the people fighting for me,' hitting rewind, watching it again."

Grisham — who served in various roles for four years in the Trump White House, including as a spokesperson and chief of staff for former First Lady Melania Trump — released a scathing tell-all, titled I'll Take Your Questions Now, in October about her time in the administration.

For more on the one year anniversary of the insurrection, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

The family responded by dismissing her as an opportunistic liar seeking to rehabilitate herself who "through mistruth and betrayal ... seeks to gain relevance and money."

New Day's John Berman on Thursday asked Grisham which officials pleaded with the president to act to stop the violence unfolding at the Capitol during the more than three hours that passed before he finally made a statement.

Stephanie Grisham
Stephanie Grisham. Shutterstock

"I don't know specifically," Grisham said. "I know that Mrs. Trump did not, so there's that."

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, has said there is "firsthand testimony" that the former president's daughter, Ivanka Trump attempted to persuade her father to condemn the violence.

The Republican leader, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, also encouraged Trump to tell his supporters to stop, Cheney also said.

The president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., further reportedly urged former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to push President Trump to take action to calm rioters.

Grisham is now one of Trump's most visible critics — a turn, her own detractors say, fueled by a desire for new relevance away from the administration. But she has maintained for months she is not seeking personal redemption and that her book was an "honest" take on Trump's presidency and an attempt to educate the public about the behaviors within the White House.

On New Day, Grisham also announced that she is working with about 15 other former administration officials and White House staffers who are looking for ways to "formally do some things to try and stop" the former president and the "extremism, that kind of violence and rhetoric that has been talked about and continues to divide our country."

This prospective group joins other notable members of the anti-Trump minority in the Republican Party, even as the former president remains enduringly popular with most conservatives.

Trump's supporters likewise dismiss his critics as ignoring his strength with the base.

Stephanie Grisham listens as President Donald Trump, speaks to reporters
Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

"I'm really hoping for a good fight in 2022," Grisham said on CNN. "I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and do what I can. I'm really excited to get with these former Trump officials and do some great things." Grisham would not say who else is involved in the group she described but said, "it should be very significant" and that there will be officials who were "both" senior and junior to her in the administration.

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