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The View in Review

Sunny Hostin Interrogates Stephanie Grisham: 'Why Did It Take an Insurrection to Get You to Quit?'

"By the time I got in there, I thought to myself, 'Well, maybe I can do some good,'" said Trump's former press secretary.
  • Former Trump official Stephanie Grisham found herself in the hot seat this morning. (Photo: ABC)
    Former Trump official Stephanie Grisham found herself in the hot seat this morning. (Photo: ABC)

    Stephanie Grisham largely avoided hard-hitting questions on Tuesday, but her luck ran out this morning as the co-hosts grilled her about her time in the Trump White House. While Grisham apologized for her affiliation with the Trumps, she wasn't able to avoid a harsh line of questioning from Hostin, who asked why it took her four years to realize that she "screwed up" by accepting the job, in the first place.

    As the co-hosts discussed the ongoing trials of January 6 rioters, Grisham, who was Melania Trump's chief of staff and press secretary at the time, recalled that she "had a really bad feeling" about that day. She said once the violence started, she texted Melania and urged her to call for peace, but the first lady declined. "I knew she was upstairs taking pictures of the new carpet that she had gotten," said Grisham. "I had actually been trying to resign for a few months and she had always talked me out of it. And that day, I just said, 'No,' and I resigned."

    Grisham added that "Mrs. Trump was packing and getting ready to leave," but her husband was not. "He was refusing. Nobody would talk to him about moving," she said. "Nobody would talk to him about packing up boxes — you did not bring it up."

    "I have to ask," said Hostin. "Why did it take an insurrection to get you to quit?"

    "That's a great, fair question," replied Grisham. "I tried to resign many times. When I got to the West Wing, I realized it was a really bad environment. I saw with my own eyes — I hadn't seen with my own eyes some of the things he did and said." The former press secretary added that she initially "believed in" Trump and thought that she "could do some good" in his administration, but eventually realized that if she quit, she "would've been replaced with someone crazier."

    But Hostin wasn't buying Grisham's mea culpa. "You must have known, at some point — sorry to interrogate you — that you screwed up," said the co-host. "I don't understand how it takes two impeachments for someone to say, 'Man, maybe I'm on the wrong team here.'"

    "I did screw up," admitted Grisham, before explaining why she didn't leave. "Number one, if I were to leave — I'm a single mom who needs a job. And let me tell you, no one was going to hire me, good, bad, or ugly, after two years, three years, four years. I had to think about that."

    "But my point is now, I messed up. I am sorry. I will say that until the end of time," she added. "But I want to give people and off-ramp. I want to educate people, not talk down to them — educate people about who he really is, that he is a conman, that it is a cult-like thing, and that it's okay to just get off."

    When Behar asked if she would vote for Trump again, Grisham insisted that she would not. "Would you vote for a Democrat if he was running against the Democrat?" pressed Behar. "It would have to depend on the Democrat," replied Grisham, prompting a round of laughs at the table. "I would probably write in a Republican."

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

    TOPICS: Stephanie Grisham, ABC, The View, Donald Trump, Joy Behar, Melania Trump, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, Whoopi Goldberg, politics