Former first lady Melania Trump thought her husband Donald was getting “bad advice” in his final months in office and was concerned about unannounced visitors — such as election-denying attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell — walking in on her wearing only a robe, according to testimony by her estranged former chief of staff earlier this year.
Stephanie Grisham told the House select committee that investigated last year’s Capitol riot that Melania, now 52, thought her husband’s advisers failed him during the final part of his presidency and grew “very upset” when they entered the White House’s residential areas without warning.
“She hated when people would come to the residence,” Grisham said in testimony from May, according to a transcript released Thursday by the panel.
“That was her home, she wanted privacy. So I do recall, towards the end, her telling me that there were constantly meetings happening in the Yellow Oval, which is the room up in the residence, with various people,” Grisham said.
“And she was very upset because nobody would give her a heads-up and was she walking around in a robe, that type of thing. But she never gave me specific names other than Sidney Powell, Giuliani and campaign people. Those were her words.”
Grisham added that “Mrs. Trump always wanted to be warned before people were coming into her house.”
The testimony did not make clear if any unannounced guests actually walked in on the first lady while she was under-dressed and Grisham told The Post it was a “theoretical concern” to the best of her knowledge.
Grisham noted that her 2021 book “I’ll Take Your Questions Now” mentions the former first lady’s love of robes, but that the passage in her deposition was meant to stress Melania Trump’s frustration about a lack of privacy in the chaotic finale of the Trump administration.
The 76-year-old Trump’s 2024 campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Grisham’s testimony.
Grisham worked on the 45th president’s 2016 campaign before joining the White House staff. She worked as a top aide to the first lady for most of Trump’s four years in office before resigning when his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Grisham — who also worked as White House press secretary from July 2019 until April 2020 — had a toxic relationship with Trump’s final chief of staff Mark Meadows, who forced her out of her job as press secretary, resulting in her final job title as the first lady’s chief of staff.
According to Grisham, Melania Trump blamed Meadows for failing to give Trump better advice in the final months of his presidency, but Grisham also said that she was surprised the then-first lady didn’t speak up more about her husband’s rejected election fraud claims.
The first lady “felt [Meadows] was letting a lot of people who were maybe being harmful to the president, giving him bad advice,” Grisham recalled.
“He was clearing them into the residence or getting them into the Oval. And Mrs. Trump never liked it when people would tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than the truth or the reality of the situation, and she felt that Meadows was always just playing into his hand.”
Grisham added that the first lady was “very wary of Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, a lot of the people who were coming up to the residence and talking to the president” and that she even “got on the phone with [Republican National Committee Chairwoman] Ronna [McDaniel] a few times to kind of ask, like, ‘Where really are we with polling?,’ because I don’t think she fully trusted the campaign necessarily.”
“I don’t know that she was sitting in on meetings often. But from … some of the things that the president would then say to her, which I do not have specifics on, she would say, ‘I think they’re giving him bad advice, I don’t think this is smart,’” Grisham said.
“She was just always frustrated that those certain people were let up into the residence, because during the day, while a lot of people were let around him during the day, it was at night where I think — he was a night owl, people would come up, there was no vetting. Sometimes a chief of staff wouldn’t know. And almost anyone could be up there and tell him something. And if it was things he liked to hear, he would then start to react the next day based on that, and she never liked that.”
“She really was always the pragmatic, more realistic, ‘give us the worst case scenario’ type of a person, and nobody did that for him,” Grisham added.
Grisham said that she woke up Melania Trump around 3 a.m. on Election Night so that she could attend her husband’s White House speech as results rolled in — and that she was surprised when the first lady didn’t intervene to prevent the 45th president from prematurely declaring victory.
“I started to say to Mrs Trump, ‘Get in there, you need to make sure he has a level head’ … And she just stood back. She didn’t get into the fray at all … that was very weird because she generally was very outspoken,” Grisham said.
Melania “started packing” when the election was called for Biden the Saturday after Election Day, according to the testimony.
“She didn’t buy into a lot of the conspiracy theories or even some of the things her husband would say,” Grisham said.
However, in December 2020, the aide said that Melania vaguely hinted that she was concerned about election malfeasance. At the same time, the first lady refused to attend the Jan. 6 rally near the White House that preceded the Capitol riot — though she later also declined to issue a statement on the violence.
“I do remember vaguely her saying that ‘There is going to be a rally and all these crazy people are telling him to do this rally, I want no part of it,’” Grisham told the committee.
“She didn’t trust the campaign at that point,” the ex-chief of staff said. “But then, on the other hand, there were days when she was like, ‘Something’s not right.’ So somebody convinced her.”