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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

Stephanie Grisham Says Ginni Thomas Pushed Trump to Fire 'Deep State' Staffers

Trump's former press secretary also claimed she was shut out of COVID discussions after she "raised concerns" about the administration's response.
  • Stephanie Grisham turned The View into Tales From the Trump White House in her third and final day at the table. (Photo: ABC)
    Stephanie Grisham turned The View into Tales From the Trump White House in her third and final day at the table. (Photo: ABC)

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    Thursday morning on The View, Stephanie Grisham came armed with stories from her time in the Trump White House, none of them flattering to the former president. In one particularly damning revelation, Grisham shared that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, would meet Trump for lunch in the White House and give him "lists of people who should be fired" and "who was in the Deep State." The former press secretary added that because Trump eagerly listened to Thomas' conspiracies, his staffers were forced to "do damage control" to prevent their co-workers from actually being fired.

    In a new interview with the Washington Post, Trump confirmed that he spoke with Thomas, who repeatedly texted then-chief of staff Mark Meadows and urged him to overturn the election results, during his presidency, a fact Grisham confirmed this morning on The View. "I was not in the room for the conversations, but I can tell you this," she told the co-hosts, explaining that Trump and Thomas met "for lunch in the dining room off the Oval" four or five times. "At that time, we would all be scrambling to do damage control knowing that once she left, he would be telling us who needed to be fired, who was a Never Trumper in the White House or in the administration, who was in the Deep State, because she would come with a list of people who should be fired and weren't loyal."

    "She also wanted him to hire certain people that — same thing, we would kind of have to work around that. There were people that would not have gotten through vetting, for the most part," continued Grisham. "It was that game that we always played where it was like, 'Yes, sir, we're looking into that.' We would hope he would forget, and then we would work really hard to save and not let a lot of the really good people [be] fired."

    Grisham went on to say that she's not surprised Trump told the Washington Post that he wanted to march to the Capitol with his supporters on January 6, but his Secret Service told him not to. "That's true. He wanted to march," she said. "I think he wanted to lead 'the largest crowd ever' and be a king and a dictator."

    In the next segment, Grisham shared another anecdote from her time in the White House (though it's difficult to understand the story as anything but an attempt to launder her image). As the ladies discussed Trump's COVID response, Grisham, who served as both press secretary and White House communications director from July 2019 to April 7, 2020, agreed with Dr. Fauci's belief that "a lot more lives could've been saved" had the Trump administration not politicized the pandemic. "I sat in meetings where both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx would give him the facts, give him the facts, and what he cared about was polling, what will this look like," she recalled. "He had staffers saying, 'Don't put a mask on. It'll anger the base.'"

    "I actually had a problem putting some of the information out," continued Grisham. "And when I raised those concerns, all messaging — if you can imagine this — all messaging about COVID got taken away from me, the press secretary, me, the director of communications, and the entire West Wing communications team of about 40. And it was transferred to the Vice President's team."

    Nearly 1 million preventable deaths later, we all know how well that went.

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Stephanie Grisham, ABC, The View, Donald Trump, Ginni Thomas, politics