in the shadows

Ivanka and Jared’s “inappropriate” behavior blasted by former WH press secretary

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Photo: Shutterstock)

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is making multiple press appearances this week to tie in with the publication of her eagerly-anticipated memoir, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House.

The book hit the shelves yesterday. It paints a picture of a toxic and chaotic environment within the Trump administration. Or as Grisham so evocatively describes it: “A clown car on fire running at full speed into a warehouse full of fireworks.”

The book has few good words to say about any member of the Trump family who played an active role at the White House.

Grisham yesterday spoke with CNN’s New Day and was asked about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

In her book, she calls Kushner “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit”. She says amongst White House staff, Ivanka and her husband were dubbed, “Princess and Slim Reaper.” Grisham personally nicknamed them “the interns.”

She told CNN Kushner, “got really heady with power”, which included having his own Chief of Staff and hiring his own staff: “He did what he wanted and nobody challenged him.”

According to Grisham, this included inserting himself into projects or initiatives that he was not qualified to be involved with.

“He would dive into these areas where I know he had absolutely no expertise. And, you know, claim to save the day and then he would leave. And, you know, there was a running joke in the White House that when things were getting really tough they suddenly disappeared on vacations.”

She went on to suggest Kushner’s time at the White House changed him, “I do not think he left there the best version of himself.”

“I believe he and Ivanka thought they were a shadow President and First Lady.”

Grisham does credit Ivanka with being “a very smart woman,” and doesn’t hesitate to say Ivanka’s “the brains” in the relationship.

“I do believe Jared is an intelligent man but I think Ivanka is very … she’s very controlling of her image. She’s very controlling in what she does. She’s very calm, which is unlike her father. She’s the smarter one.”

Related: The way Ivanka tried to unsuccessfully elbow a meeting with Queen Elizabeth is peak Ivanka

In her book, Grisham recounts how Ivanka and Jared wanted to publicly meet with the Queen of England during Donald Trump’s visits to the UK, but it was nixed due to lack of space to transport them all in a helicopter.

“When we went to the state dinner with the Queen, they thought they should be involved with every single thing that the President and First Lady were doing, and … it was really inappropriate,” Grisham said yesterday.

“Our last foreign trip to India, it was the same thing,” Grisham continued. “They [Jared and Ivanka] were negotiating what stops we should make and they were involved with tours that [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi was giving the former President and First Lady, and there they were, too. They were always right there, and it was really inappropriate.

“And that would make Mrs. Trump upset because she is a big rule follower in terms of protocol and whatnot. And it was just really inappropriate. So we in the East Wing would do what we could to stop it or mitigate it, but at the end of the day, it’s his daughter and son-in-law and nobody could work around them.”

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In her book, Grisham talks at length about the role Ivanka and Jared played in the White House, and the influence they had over the President. She says it was Ivanka who persuaded her father to address the nation, at short notice, when it became apparent Covid was going to become a major issue.

With just a few hours to put something together, she says the speech was written by Jared.

“After he wrote the speech, there was no time for fact-checking, vetting, or notifying friends and allies on the Hill or abroad,” says Grisham in the book. “There was hardly any time for the president to read it and make changes to it. It was a total clusterfuck from start to finish because Ivanka and her crew wanted her father to be on TV.”

There has been no reaction from Ivanka or Jared to the details revealed by Grisham. Melania Trump has strongly condemned the memoir and its author, issuing a statement on Monday saying, “Ms. Grisham is a deceitful and troubled individual who doesn’t deserve anyone’s trust.”

Related: Is Ivanka secretly behind the new Melania tell-all book? Ex-adviser shares why she thinks so

Donald Trump has also condemned the memoir, saying in September: “Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning. She became very angry and bitter after her break up and as time went on she was seldom relied upon, or even thought about … Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things.”

Much of what Grisham has revealed in her memoir will not come as a shock, even though many are enjoying devouring the juicy insider details.

Some have criticized Grisham for only choosing to speak out only now. On Monday, in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Grisham responded to a question about whether she considered herself an ‘enabler’ of the culture within the White House.

“Yes, I was. And I’ve reflected on that and I regret that. Especially now when watching him, and so many people, push the false election narrative. I now want to, in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviors within the White House because it does look like he’s going to try to run in 2024.”