tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN October 5, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PDT
♪ welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. it is monday, october 5th. we all remember the refrain on january 6th that we heard from people in the capitol, "hang mike pence." literally calling for the then vice president's head in order to overthrow the election. but pence, apparently, is over it. >> bygone. >> he says there's been too much focus on that one day, one little day, i guess. only one of the gravest attacks on american democracy. straight from the trump playbook, pence is putting the blame just where his former boss would. >> the media wants to distract from the biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in january. they want to use that one day to try to demean the character and
intentions of 74 million americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020. >> pence wants people to know, at least the fox audience, that it is all good now between him and trump. ignoring that stuff about branding pence a coward for defying trump's wishes to overturn the election. pence says, basically, they're over it. >> you can't spend almost five years in a political fox hole with somebody without developing a strong relationship. you know, january 6th was a tragic day in the history of our capitol building, but thanks to the efforts of capitol hill police, federal officials, the capitol was secured. we finished our work, and the president and i sat down a few days later and talked through all of it. i can tell you that we parted m
a amicably. >> joining us now, author of "what i saw in the white house," stephanie grisham. communications director under president trump. communications director to first lady melania trump. thank you for being with us. i have a lot of questions about your book. >> i will take them. >> now. >> yes. >> i want to start with mike pence and what he did last night. i want your take to explain to us how someone who was there on january 6th could contort himself, could twist himself into such knots, you know, eight months later to justify what happened. >> well, not only was he there, but he was being rushed to somewhere safe with his family. i mean, his family was in danger. i know that there were calls going to the white house saying, "my family is in danger. what's going on?" so i think to contort himself is actually a big part of the book. i think right now he is -- trump
is the leader of the republican party. i think that everybody, despite january 6th, despite constantly pushing these election lies, they still are, like, loyal to donald trump. as long as you stay on his good side, you know, that's all that matters. it's scary to me. i personally right now am on this little island alone, but i think that's what it is right now. people are scared of him. he's a bully. people are afraid of him. i'm just hoping, i'm just hoping that at some point, people will kind of break out of this spell, if it is, and see what's really going on. mike pence i really respect. he is a good man of faith. he is very principled, so i was saddened to see that he did that last night. >> you don't think they really just sort of talked through this, worked it out, do you? >> no. i think that at some point, this is just me guessing, but knowing donald trump the way i do, i am
pence just went and said all the right things, and now it is water under the bridge. i guarantee you that going forward though, whenever -- if mike pence and the former president are together, the president will continue to jab at him about how disloyal he was. you just have to take it until you don't. >> what was the nature of their relationship? what was it like to be in a room with both of them? >> you know, the vice president, again, i respect. he was always very quiet. very, very quiet. he did speak up when it mattered most. but, again, when it comes to president trump, it's not really a matter of who is telling him, it's who has the answer he wants to hear. if anybody, myself included, would say, you know, "yes, sir, you should probably go out there and wear a mask," he'd go to the next person, until he found the person who said, "don't wear a mask, sir. you'll look weak." that day, that person was the most brilliant person on staff, based on what he wanted to hear. >> how did he, trump, relate to
mike pence? what was -- you know, was he respectful? was he denigrating? we've seen so much leading up to january 6th and coming out of it. what was it like before then? >> the answer is yes. he was respectful and he was deni denigrating. that was how he was with all his senior staff. definitely, there were times he wasn't happy with what the vice president said, and so he would let that be known. other times they got along really, really well. they had lunch together quite often in the private dining room. you know, mike pence is an easy person to get along with. he's quiet. he did always respect the fact that donald trump was the president. >> you talking about what mike pence is now doing and how you think it is dangerous, this is the reason you wrote the book, you're saying. >> mm-hmm. >> what is the message you want to send about where you think the country is now and the threat that you think the former president poses? >> well, i think the country right now has so much hatred. i think that the president likes
that. i think that he likes to control people's thoughts that way. he views these people as fighters and fighting for him, and then he just covers it up with words like patriots. they're not patriots. they're out there destroying our country. the book, you know, i left d.c., and the last six months of the white house for me were difficult. i resigned on january 6th, as you guys know, and i went way far away to middle america. it took me some time to almost decompress or, you know, be deprogrammed. i had a lot of time to reflect. while i was doing that, you know, i was watching from afar. i was no longer in that bubble of the white house clearly or washington, d.c. the fact that he is pushing this election lie is scary to me. and the fact he is the front runner right now for if he were to run for office. that is scary.
if he gets into office, he doesn't run for re-election. he can do whatever he wants. he know there will be retribution. there is going to be revenge. there are going to be draconian policies, and they're not going to care because they don't have to run for re-election again. and if you think or if people think that the people in that trump white house were bad, perhaps, i have a feeling the one-six crowd might be working in 2024 or the sydney powells or the rudy giuliani's. i think people left and right will be pardoned. the amount of things, knowing what i know, that could happen, it scares me. >> can you take us pack back to day of the insurrection? one of the things that stood out to me in the book was how you were saying before there was ever violence, you felt it. that you felt that there was something different that day, and you say that you then saw it. before there was violence, what were you feeling? why were you on edge? >> i -- well, i had been on edge
because -- and i know this sounds silly because i know what his tweets were like. i know a lot of the vitriol for all four years -- but something seemed heightened. he was heightened. he was so, you know, about this was stolen from us. this was stolen from us. he was so hyperfocused on that. i don't want to say to a crazy level, but i felt like we were getting there. i knew that the big rally was being planned, and i had a bad, bad feeling. it was going to be right outside the white house. look, we had that all the time. black lives matter protesters. i just, in my gut, felt weird. and then when he said, "let's head to the capitol. we need to be fighters." these people, like i used to be, are true believers in him and are true loyalists. i believe they take stuff like that very literally. if president trump is saying, "you are my people. we're in this together.
go fight," and they did. you know, i was hearing from some people that he was in the dining room watching and enjoying that people were fighting for him. i just couldn't -- i couldn't watch what was happening to our capitol. >> is it still going on though? is that environment still there? >> i believe so. i do believe so. i believe that, again, there are so many people out there who believe the election was stolen, who only believe in donald trump, who only think he can, you know, save the party and the country. i do think that we had some policies that we put through that were good, but i think a sane republican man or woman could run for president. >> you wright about this in your book. that day before you resigned, you tried to get your then boss, melania trump, the first lady, to say something. i'm not talking about something incredibly bold, something fairly innocuous. what is it you wanted her to
say? >> correct. i wanted her to say, i'm paraphrasing a little, but "do you want to tweet out that, you know, to assemble is the right of every american but there is no room for violence and hatred?" nothing political. nothing -- i mean, just, please, let's take the temperature down. i thought she should. when charlottesville happened, she was one of the first to put something out and i was proud of her that day. she had done things that maybe people saw as being against the president but it was her being independent. when she wrote back one word, no, i just stared at the phone. i was shocked. i was kind of waiting for a follow-up, of "maybe we should say this." it was just no. i waited, you know, 15 minutes to make sure i wasn't -- and then i resigned. >> you emailed her and her-mail
adviser. i had been trying to resign, actually, for the past six, seven months, and she'd always talked me out of it. you know, asked me to stay strong. i actually had a resignation letter in a folder with no date for the last four months of the administration, that i just wanted to hand over if necessary. it was that bad for me. >> you talk over and over about botched attempts to leave. >> correct. >> you talk about the abusive environment. look, there's a lot of -- you mentioned this idea of destroying people. you say in your book that you were a destroyer. you were on the other side of this. >> mm-hmm. >> you do talk a lot about this in very clear terms, that you think this was an abusive environment. >> mm-hmm. >> i wonder -- and you also talk about having a background in that. so knowing that that mirrors some of your past experiences as well. can you tell us more about that and what it took to recover from that, if you have? >> i haven't yet. yes, i think, you know, when i
talk about the abusive nature, while i believe some colleagues are probably saying, yes, this is true, i am only speaking for me here. yes, i have a past that included childhood and afterwards some ab abuse. it took me a really long time to realize it was a culture of abuse in there. you just want to keep donald trump happy. you just don't want him to yell at you. you just -- you know, you learn you have to give him the answer he wants or he'll just throw you out anyway. so a lot of people would learn to work around that a little bit and say, yes, your poll numbers are huge, sir, but perhaps we just take it down, you know, a notch on this, that, or the other subject. we worked around him. i also don't want to use that as an excuse. i'm also a grown woman, and i knew what was happening in there. i turned my head to a lot of things. >> did you ever tell him no? >> yes, yes.
he wanted me to kick the white house press core off the ground, like everybody gone. gone, gone, gone. i don't know that i told him no, but i definitely didn't ever let it happen. >> that's different than saying no. >> okay. kaitlan collins, he wanted me to go -- >> our kaitlan collins. >> yes. he wanted me to rip her out of the press room. i said no to that. >> did you say no? >> yes. he told me, you know -- it's written about, but he called me a loser, weak. i was the worst press person ever. >> he was yelling at you? what was it like? >> he was yelling at me to my face in that one. it's horrible when he yells at you. it is horrible. he is very new york, i guess. he's very mean when he yells at you. >> talk to me more about that. how long does it go on? what does he call you? >> weak. weak, why are you even here?
i have all these press people. nobody gets me any good coverage. weak was it. ineffective was it. why can't you do things? i don't care what you're saying right now. that doesn't make sense. that's bull -- >> we're cable. it's okay. >> and other words i will not say. a lot of cursing would happen. that type of thing. >> he'd curse at you. >> mm-hmm. >> how would it end? how would that resolve itself, if at all? would he walk off? would you leave? >> i would leave. i would leave, and then i personally would stay hidden for a little while. then you'd see him again and it was like nothing ever happened. i think that was part of the weird thing. you'd walk into a room, if i would get summoned, and i didn't know who i was going to meet. there is a donald trump that's very funny and can be very kind and, you know, you think he is listening to you. and then there's the one i was just talking about. >> you talk a lot about
harassment. not just of yourself but also behavior of an inappropriate nature when it comes to a young press aide. >> yes. >> that the president had a liking for, as you describe it. he would summon her, you write, into his cabin on air force one, you said that you made sure to always accompany her. >> yes. >> tell us more about that. and are you sure that you were able to protect her? because we should note, you didn't report this to anyone. >> yeah. i've said this, i want to talk about that first. there's not -- there is just not like a human resources department at the white house where you can go and say, "i'm really uncomfortable with the president of the united states and his behavior." i was not comfortable going to mark meadows, who was the chief of staff at that time, because i felt he would just go to the president. the president would, in turn, think i was being disloyal and,
you know, fire me or whatnot. so when he would ask for her to come to the cabin, which she was the only one he ever did that with, i would always accompany her. i don't know if she knew what was going on. she may have just been excited that the president was talking to her. i wouldn't leave the cabin. we would sit in there, and i just would never leave the cabin. i tried to kind of keep her off trips, which was unfortunate because i felt i was punishing her. it wasn't her fault. he noticed. he would say, make sure she's on this trip. give her a promotion. put her on tv. all of which were things she wasn't quite qualifies for yet. it was a really difficult situation. i did the best i could. i don't know what i could have done better. maybe if i would have left, but then now who is there to watch out for her? it was just a difficult -- >> i think people would look at that and say, you tried to protect you. you tried to do certain things. but there was always another option. you always could have left. look, you were press secretary.
you know how to put out a release. >> yes. >> you could say the president is potentially harassing a junior staffer. >> right. >> i know that's a big thing to do. >> yes. >> it is a possibility. you could have done it. >> it is. i could have done that with a lot of things. >> what? >> well, a lot of the things he would say. when he'd go out and do his press conferences about covid and downplaythingthings. i could have left when charlottesville happened. there are so many times i could have done that, and i didn't. i'm still grappling with that. i am. >> you say you hate mark meadows. you wouldn't have gone to him in the case of this press aide or anything else. >> no. >> tell us why you hate mark meadows. >> when he began, i was in quarantine for three weeks with potentially having covid because i had been exposed to bolsonaro's press person at mar-a-lago. he was calling all the time, asking me about my staff. i was explaining to him how
things were working. he kept saying, "will you do a press conference?" i said, yes, if i'm ever asked, i'll do a press conference. he started dismantling my team. he wanted me to bring people in that i didn't feel comfortable bringing in. he had this way of being very dishonest, if i'm just -- you know, he'd say, "oh, everything is fine. you're safe. i don't know what's going on." then, you know, i'd hear leaks that i was going to be pushed out. i finally was the one who resigned. he didn't push me out. i resigned to go back to mrs. trump as chief of staff. when i was in the east wing, he actively worked to get the president to believe i was the person who leaked the bunker story, when they went to the bunker, which i unequivocally did not do. i hear he recommended i be f fired. he put me through a lot of weird torture. always needing to meet with me,
needing to see me. when i would write to him, he'd completely ignore me. it wasn't a good relationship. >> did you ever tell the president you wanted to do a press conference. >> no. i never said, "i want to go do a press conference." when we talked about me taking the job, he said to me, i don't want any more press conferences. he stopped it six months before with sarah. he said, we're still not going to do press conferences. i'm talking to the press. i'll be the p.t. barnum of everybody. he really wanted me to work on print papers and behind the scenes talking to people one-on-one. >> did you ever want to do a press conference? >> well, selfishly, in this administration, i didn't. i knew i would possibly be put in a position to stand at that podium and not be honest. >> lie. >> and lie. i didn't want to do that. working in the white house had always been my dream. it was my dream to stand behind the podium and do it the traditional way. but in our administration, i -- selfishly, i didn't want to do it. >> you did do interviews on fox
though. >> yes. >> were you always truthful there? >> i probably wasn't. i can't -- i can't think of an example right now. i probably wasn't. i mean, i regret that so much. i think of one example when i put the statement out about general kelly. >> we have that. can we put that up so people can see? >> absolutely. >> i want you to diagram -- >> yes. >> -- this if we can. if we have that, can we put it up? this is october of 2019. i can't remember what kelly did, but he pissed off the president. >> he said something mildly disparaging. >> what happened, the president forced you to put out a statement. i'll paraphrase. i work with john kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the dpgenius of our great president. trump dictated that to you. >> i don't speak that way. yes, he dictated that word for word. i did say, you know -- because, again, you learn to work around him. i said, sir, don't you think that is going to elevate this
and give general kelly more attention? you don't want that. that was something you could say to donald trump, if he thinks others would get more attention, maybe we could -- it didn't work. he wanted it out there. i sat down. i was on my bed. it was the weekend. i called a couple of friends and said, "this sounds nuts, right?" they both said yes. but i, at the time, felt i was his spokesperson. he told me to do it. i knew he was probably watching tv waiting for it. i put it out. it is one of my biggest regrets, and i apologize to general and mrs. kelly in the book about it. >> those were not your words? >> i do not speak that way, no. >> not your belief. >> not my belief. >> it's a lie. >> yes. >> you put it out. >> that's an example i had. >> what would have happened if you hadn't put it out? >> i think he would have yelled, screamed, told me i was weak. at that point, i just -- i had reached this pinnacle. i had reached my dream of being press secretary, which sadly i regretted the moment i kind of
got there. he just would have yelled and screamed. i don't know. maybe he would have fired me immediately. i'm not sure what he would have done. >> what was the role of fox news in the white house? >> that's a great question. that's just where we went to get what we wanted out. you know, i looked forward to going and doing lou dobbs. he'd do all the talking about how great everything was, and i would nod and say yes. they, you know, by and large, didn't get tough with us. they just took what we were s saying and disseminated it. i think they're disseminating it to a lot of people who went to the capitol for january 6th. again, i've had a lot of time too grapple with this, and i feel horribly guilty about my part in it because i was on fox a lot. >> was it, to you, like state-run tv for donald trump? >> you know, a bit. i think there are some
legitimate journalists at fox news who would ask some tough questions, so i don't want to, as a whole, paint them, but i think certainly in the evening, yes, it was. i think, more pimportantly now with things coming out, it is like state run media. it is getting, it sounds like, more and more of an audience. i think those people also are the people who can potentially cause a lot of damage. >> stephanie, we have a lot more to discuss here. you are taking our questions now, so we're going to seize this question. we want to talk about your time with the former first lady and also the trump children. >> okay. >> standby for news. you booked a cozy vrbo mountain cabin. with a kitchen where everyone can chef. (mixed chatter, laughter) a family room where you can let your hair down. and a backyard that is a tree-lined living room.
but the thing they'll remember forever? watching the game together once again. (cheering) the time for getting back together is now. find it on vrbo. when you really need to sleep you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep. there's software. and then there's industrial grade software, forged from decades of industrial experience and insights. meet honeywell forge. analytical software that connects assets and people to deliver a cybersecure record of your entire operation. so that everyone, in your boardroom and beyond, speaks the same language. honeywell forge. industrial grade software.
discover card i just got my cashback match is this for real? yup! we match all the cash back new card members earn at the end of their first year automatically woo! i got my mo-ney! it's hard to contain yourself isn't it? uh- huh! well let it go! woooo! get a dollar for dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover. serena: it's my 3:10 no-exit-in-sight migraine medicine. it's ubrelvy. for anytime, anywhere migraine strikes, without worrying if it's too late, or where i am. one dose can quickly stop my migraine in its tracks within two hours. unlike older medicines, ubrelvy is a pill that directly blocks cgrp protein, believed to be a cause of migraine. do not take with strong cyp3a4 inhibitors. most common side effects were nausea and tiredness. serena: ask about ubrelvy. the anytime, anywhere migraine medicine. ♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom ♪ ♪ for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪
back with the author of "i'll take your questions now: what i saw at the trump white house." stephanie grisham, he was the white house press secretary and communications director under president trump, and chief of staff and communications director for former first lady melania trump. we talked briefly about melania trump, who chose not to say anything about the insurrection at the time. you write about this in your book. you worked with her a long time. if i asked you, who is melania trump, it is a hard question to answer. >> it is. she's a very, very private woman. she's a very private woman. she is a mother, first and foremost, to her son. that's something i always really, really admired and respected by her. or for her. but she's just very quiet. you never know what's going on in her head. now, i used to learn to decipher her facial expressions after so long, but it takes a really long time to finally get to know her. i think what i have learned is you never really do get to know her. i thought i did. i made the mistake of thinking
that she was my friend and, you know, i made the mistake of kind of thinking she would confide in me certain things. but it's very calculated with her. she and her husband are a lot more alike than i think people want to believe. she can be very, very kind, and then she can also be very, very cold. >> and very stubborn. i think that was the line you drew between her and the president. >> so stubborn, yes. >> tell us about election night. she was asleep. it is an interesting scene that you paint in the book. take us through this. >> sure. she and i had been, that morning, in florida at mar-a-lago because she went to vote. so we had gotten up very, very early and had been working late in the evening. we went to vote. we flew back to the white house where we stayed. it was her house. but i stayed there until the night of the election party. i think what happened is she went upstairs to take a cat nap or something pause she was probably tired.
i was. we had been up almost 24 hours. i knew he was about to take the stage, and i was texting her. she wasn't answering, which was really unlike her. ewe i went upstairs to check on her. when i went in her room, it was dark. >> you walked by a crowd of people. >> i sure did. i walked by a crowd. it was mayhem. it was the president surrounded by everybody. his kids and, you know, his campaign people, kellyanne was there. everyone is yelling. he's in the middle. yeah, it was mayhem. but she was amazing at how she could sleep. i guess maybe being married to donald trump, he's not a quiet man. maybe she's conditioned. but i went into her room, and she was asleep. i tiptoed over and said, "ma'am?" she got up. i think, again, it was a cat nap. she had makeup on and stuff still. she got out of bed and started pointing to her dressing room. she went to start getting dressed. i sat at the end of her bed and watched tv and was telling her what was going on, what states had been called.
she got up, and we went downstairs and she took the stage. so i think it was a cat nap. i don't know how you do that. it's such a vital night. but, you know, maybe the woman was just tired. >> does she believe that trump lost? >> i -- i write about this in the book a little bit. first of all, mrs. trump was never one for conspiracy theories. she was always kind of -- that's what i respected about her. >> birtherism and stuff. >> correct. that was may before i joined or worked for her, so i never saw that too much. yes, i heard about it. while i knew her, she was always pretty pragmatic about what was going on. after he did lose, she kind of retreated a little bit. it was more so than she already was. the few times i would talk to her, she kept saying things like, "something bad happened there. something bad happened." meaning, with the election.
that confused me. that didn't sound like her. but also, i kept thinking, well, she has to leave the white house and live with this man. maybe she doesn't want to make him man. >> that's the acquiescence right there. that's what you heard from people in the republican party. that's buying into the notion that something happened that did not happen. you write of jared kushner, a -- in a slim suit. >> i believe he changed as we went through the white house. he got really heady with power. you know, jared kushner had his own chief of staff. he hired his own staff. he did what he wanted, and nobody challenged him. you know, mick mulvaney -- not mick mulvaney. so sorry. mark meadows, when he started, he put a freeze on anybody --
nobody could hire anybody in any department unless mark meadows specifically said yes. jared kushner basically told him what he thought of that and got to do what he wanted. so that was -- you know, nobody ever challenged jared. you couldn't. this was the president's son-in-law. so 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. there was a running joke in the white house. when things were getting really tough, they suddenly disappeared on vacations. he was tough to deal with. i think he got really heady with power. i do not think he left there the best version of himself. i believe that he and ivanka kind of thought they were a shadow president and first lady. >> your nickname for them was? >> the interns. >> melania trump's nickname for ivanka. >> the princess. >> you think ivanka is a pretty smart cookie. >> a smart woman. >> who is the brains, ivanka or jared? >> i think ivanka is the brains.
i do believe that jared is an intelligent man, but i think that ivanka is very controlling of her image. she's very controlled in what she does. she is very calm, which is unlike her father. i think she's the smarter one. >> also said you think they thought they were the royal family. >> yes. i do. when we went to the state dinner with the queen, i mean, they thought they should be involved in every single thing that the president and first lady were doing. it was really inappropriate. you know, our last foreign trip to india, it was the same thing. they were negotiating what stops we would make. they were involved in, like, tours that modi was giving the former president and first lady. there they were, too. you know, they were always right there. it was really inappropriate. that would make mrs. trump upset because she is a big rule
follower in terms of protocol and whatnot. it was 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. nobody could work around them. >> you physically blocked them from entering the state of the union behind the first lady. >> yeah. yeah, that wasn't exactly a mature move to do. but she was going through the stormy daniels stuff at the time. >> melania was. >> yes. i'm sorry, yes. i think hii and her chief of stf at the time, we were really protective of her. mrs. trump had gone to the state of the union ahead of the president. one, it was to get her guests there early. i think, too, she wanted to go alone. so i was feeling protective. so her former chief of staff and i, yeah, we raced out of the motorcade and literally physically blocked them so that mrs. trump could have her moment
and walk in. it worked for maybe three minutes, and then their secret service pushed us aside. but we got our job done. >> all right. we have still more questions for you, stephanie. including, i think, the hard questions about your role in all this. you write about it. what responsibility you take for what happened over the last six years and whether you think you could or should have done more. so stick around, everyone.
♪ limu emu & doug ♪ got a couple of bogeys on your six, limu. they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual so they only pay for what they need. what do you say we see what this bird can do? woooooooooooooo... we are not getting you a helicopter. looks like we're walking, kid. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ what happens when we welcome change? we can make emergency medicine possible at 40,000 feet. instead of burning our past for power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate
to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change. faster. vmware. welcome change. your shipping manager left to “find themself.” leaving you lost. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire
some of the roles you held at the same time, as well. this is the portion of the interview we're going to talk about something you do discuss in the book, which is your culpability in all of this. you describe yourself as a destroyer at one point. now you feel that you are on the other side of that. >> mm-hmm. >> you write in the book that it is the job of the spokesperson to take the lumps in the press and do all you can to make your principle look good, even if it means that you're looking at our simply as though you are a liar. but you didn't have to lie. >> i didn't. i didn't have to lie. and i regret any of the lies that i told. i regret working there, right? i mean, i have so many regrets. i don't think -- i don't know what you guys think, but the book isn't real nice to me either. i have no illusions that people are going to like me. this has not been an easy process because now, not only does the left hate me, but now the right really hates me. but all i can do now is look
forward. all i can do now is look forward. and he is trying to put people into congress in 2022 that will ru rubber-stamp his policies whenever he wants. that's a big deal. let's say he doesn't run, which i hope, he will still have ththose people, those people doing his bidding. if he does run in 2024, and, again, i hope not, like i said, there will be no guardrails. i don't know what kind of people are going to be in that administration. because it wion't matter. he won't have to run again. >> the issue, as you told us, there were many opportunities where you could have said no or should have said no. now, you're saying you regret it. the question, are you saying that to sell books? do you really feel bad? if you had to do it again, would you do it differently? >> if i had to do it again, i wouldn't do it.
i wouldn't have been there. hindsight is 20/20. obviously, i want to sell books but i want to sell books so people can read the entire story and see the context. again, i was a loyalist. i was a believer. i defended them fiercely. if i can convince five or six other people who were like me that this is not natural and this is not normal and this is a cult-like environment, and if you can just step out and clear your head, maybe i can change things. i made a lot of mistakes in there. i also think that we mitigated a lot of disasters, some of us who did stay. i mean, there were a lot of political -- we had to fill 2,000 political appointee spots. let me tell you, there were some people who really wanted in there and who the president maybe wanted us to put in there. we did mitigate some things while we were in there. but i regret it, yes. again, this is not me trying to cleanse my reputation. that's not going to happen. this is going to follow me
everywhere, period. end of story. but, you know, i have gone back to basics in my life. i am with my family now. i am with my friends now. my dogs and my chickens. i am watching from afar, and it's okay that people are angry. i just want people to understand how toxic it is. it's really toxic. >> did you harm democracy? do you feel you played a role in hurting democracy? >> i do. though i absolutely and positively have not -- you know, i believe biden is our president. i believe that the election was valid. i think right now, that is one of our biggest threats to democracy. we can't just stomp our feet and say, oh, no, you know, i didn't win this. we have an election system. i think there are always an anomalies. but yes is my short role. i think i played a role in a very, very bad time. >> you were enabling the big lie by the acquiescence, by being there for months while he told
it. >> mm-hmm. >> but you were also there during covid. >> mm-hmm. >> in this totality, do you think your enabling cost lives? >> i do. i think the way we handled covid was tragic. i think that the president's vanity got in the way. he was working for his base. he was not working for this country. he, you know, didn't wear a mask quickly enough. now, this isn't -- >> or hardly ever. >> correct. and this isn't an excuse, but i also worked for mrs. trump. i was so proud because she was out there doing psas and wearing a mask and trying to push it. naive as this is, i kept hoping she would convince her husband, you know, "please get out there, donald. get out there." but, yes, again, i was part of that. i don't think i'll ever forgive myself with respect to covid. i don't think i can ever redeem
myself. >> again, this -- you weren't a short timer. you were a lifer. >> yeah. >> the number of choices that you made over five or six years, it's immeasurable. >> uh-huh. >> i mean, it's hard to say, oh, i just realized now, after six years, that this was all a really bad idea. >> yup. >> a deadly, in some cases, bad idea. >> i have had a lot of time to think about that. again, not an excuse, but i worked on the east wing side of the house for 2 1/2 years of that. so, again, naive as it may sound, i was really kind of blocked off from the west wing. in the west wing, everybody wanted to keep the east wing happy. so i didn't see a lot of the decisions being made or the toxic culture. and i was programmed at that time, that when his tweets would go out, people were too insensitive. it didn't matter.
even from the east wing, when i did see the tweets going out, even mrs. trump and i would roll our eyes. she would say, "i biswish he wouldn't do that. i told him not to, and he did it anyway." in this weird, weird way, i thought i was on the good side. when i took the job as press secretary, i stupidly thought that since i was going to still be working for mrs. trump, i would have -- like i could pick up the phone and call her and say, "he wants to do something crazy. can you help me stop it?" that was dumb, too. i believed in them at first. i thought i had a friendship with her, and i stayed too long. there's just nothing else i can do or say about that. >> stephanie gresham, former white house press secretary, former communications director, chief of staff to melania trump, we appreciate you being with us. there's a lot in this book. you spare nothing, including on yourself. thank you for coming in and taking our questions. >> thank you for having me. up next, reaction from two reporters who covered the trump white house.
you heard one of them mentioned in this conversation. with a facebook whistleblower about to testify to the senate, we'll hear from a former mentor of mark zuckerberg who has been sounding the alarm for years. with voltaren arthritis pain gel my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pain pills voltaren is the first full prescription strength gel for powerful arthritis pain relief... voltaren the joy of movement
to make my vision a reality my varilux progressive lenses provide seamlessly transition from near to far. with every detail in sharp focus. that's seeing no limits. varilux lenses by essilor. si acelero no me paran. el viento pega en mi cara. ♪ si acelero no me paran el viento pega en mi cara ♪ ♪ ♪ people, with quickbooks live someone else will do your books for you. they'll even pair you with an expert bookkeeper like me, who knows your business. knows... your... business! expert bookkeepers who understand your business. intuit quickbooks live bookkeeping.
we just heard from stephanie grisham about her tell all book. let's bring in cnn political analyst april ryan, the white house correspondent and washington bureau chief for the grio and cnn chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins. kai kaitlan, first, tell us what stood out to you. >> i think one -- the big takeaway from this, there are two things that could be true. and i think people's initial reaction to watching someone like stephanie grisham come on and talk about what her
experience was like is they don't trust her because she admitted in that interview that she was not truthful, she said she probably wasn't during the few interviews that she did do when she was press secretary. she talked about how she turned her head to a lot of things that were happening inside the trump west wing and i think that people will see that and they will say, why should i believe what she is saying now? and i think the other thing that could be true while also that being true is that she is talking about things that did happen inside the white house that other white house aides have not said publicly and they will not put their name next to, she is saying in this book, talking about the things -- the concerns she has about what a second trump term could look like. and it is not just talking about trump in the past, it is also talking about what could be a very real thing in the future, which is that trump is the republican front-runner as we are speaking right now for a potential run in 2024. and i think one thing that was really revealing was what she was saying about what staffing in a second trump white house could look like, talking about the sydney powells, the rudy
giulianis, that she believes could go on to staff him, if he did win re-election again. >> she said the next administration could be staffed by the people from january 6th. >> it would be the crazies, the 1-6ers, she said, right? >> april, your reaction? >> i'm right there with kaitlan, to understand that this president, if -- the former president donald john trump, if he is re-elected, he could actually staff that white house with people who were part of january 6th. she acknowledged that she helped play a part in harming the democracy. she played a part in the deaths of people in this nation during covid and other times. at issue, the recklessness she put names and faces to, she talked about lying on fox news, you know, her fights with mark meadows, even talking about wanting to oust the press and specifically going toe to toe with donald trump about kaitlan collins.
we know that he talked to us terribly in our faces. but to find out what happened behind the scenes as we were trying to inform the public of what was happening on the inside of the white house, to take the veil off of this mysterious place and more of the mystery of who donald trump really was. you know, the question is, how much can we survive this again? can we survive this again? how much can america take after this donald trump presidency and she affirmed what she already knew. >> kaitlan what do you remember from that day, from that episode? it was interesting when we asked stephanie when did she say no to the president, she said, yes, but then the one example she gave was she claims she said no to the president when the president was trying to get rid of you. >> right, but look at the context around that. it was during -- in what she writes in the book, during an actual briefing that was happening, the cameras are on, we're likely taking it live, so are several other outlets, it
would have required her to enter the press briefing room and try to get me out of there as that was happening. and, of course, i think a lot of -- like a lot of things in the trump west wing, they were driven by self-interest and that is often where people refuse to take a step there because, of course, it would have affected them. and that is what stephanie grisham says, in part, she says she did not do press briefings because the president didn't want her to, but she also says in the book she believes that eventually there would come a time where he would want her to do something in that briefing that she didn't want to do. and, of course, we saw there were a lot of people who did do that, people like kayleigh mcenany and what not. i also think what we do talk about that and while we can acknowledge the lack of credibility she has on this and the questions of why she is speaking up now and why she didn't speak up while these things were going on, because she did not resign until january 6th. that was weeks after the president had been pushing this lie he had won the election. i still think what she says is revealing in a sense that this is someone very close to the former first lady and former
president and knew a lot of the things that were happening inside the west wing that were either denied by people like grisham at the time, or by other top aides, and i do think it is revealing of the culture that was happening inside the west wing, which she describes as a culture of abuse, describing the way the former president conducted his staffing and that is something that i think a lot of people who worked in the west wing would acknowledge is true. >> i think we're all skeptical of these reputation rehab projects that we see, and i'll be honest, that's how i went into reading this book. but this book as berman said to her, you really don't spare anyone including yourself. i mean, this is as much confessional, she doesn't come out smelling like roses to be clear. there is a couple of things i definitely disagree with in the book. she both sides misinformation and the two parties. i think that's more the purview of the gop now. but, april, it's -- it is telling that even as it is hard sometimes to believe what she
said while she was press secretary, this seems pretty believable. >> yeah. if we stayed around long enough, you knew what was going on, and, again, she affirmed that. but she is now toast, politically. on the republican side for sure. and i'm actually concerned for her life now because you have people who are diehard trumpers, who don't want any negative word against this president. and she puts it all out there. not just about the president, but about the first lady. the then first lady and then about the kushners themselves who thought they were royals in their minds. she is toast politically. and, you know, she's living the life with her dogs, her chickens and her family, she is now someone who needs to watch her back. because she told the inner most secrets that they did not want out. she showed a president that was unhinged, that was abusive in his words, and volatile. she showed an administration
that did not have any regard for the american public, but for the perception of the president of the united states at that time. >> april ryan, kaitlan collins, thanks to both of you. really appreciate it. now this -- >> ignition, turbo pumps coming up to flight speed and liftoff. liftoff of soyuz ms-19 with an actress and her producer beginning a journey to the international space station. >> yeah, that was weird, right? this is russia one, hollywood zero in a race to be the first to shoot a feature film in space. overnight the russians launching a film crew as you heard there, headed to the international space station, and it appears beating tom cruise to the punch. kristen fisher is joining us now with this. kristen? >> good morning. there has been a lot of firsts in space here in the united states over the last few months, the first person to ride into space on a rocket that he helped fund and develop, there was also
that first all civilian mission to orbit, but this next first, it's going to the russians. 64 years after the soviet union launched the first satellite into orbit, russia is poised to claim another first. the first full length movie to be filmed in space. >> translator: i am not afraid of anything. i just really want us to make a good movie. >> and liftoff. liftoff of soyuz ms-19 with an actress and her producer. >> reporter: the russian actress and the film's director lifted off in a soyuz spacecraft from w kazakhstan and will film at the international space station. the two have been training alongside real cosmonauts for months, from centrifuge tests, to parachute drills, but it was the acronyms that nearly did them in. >> translator: during this time,
Uploaded by TV Archive on