Stephanie Grisham says ‘paranoid’ Trump held off-the-books meetings, as the Jan. 6 committee seeks to obtain White House records

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Stephanie Grisham

Then-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham and then-President Donald Trump. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham appeared on CNN over the weekend.

  • She said Trump held off-book meetings whose contents likely weren’t recorded.

  • Her comments come as the Jan. 6 commission seeks extensive records on Trump’s activities during the Capitol riot.

Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said former President Donald Trump held off-the-books meetings in the White House to ensure they were not recorded in the National Archive.

Grisham’s remarks, made in a Saturday interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, came as she addressed the bid by the House January 6 select committee to secure records from the White House archives on Trump’s activities that day.

Grisham, who recently wrote a tell-all of her time working as Trump’s press secretary and a senior aide to first lady Melania Trump, said Trump took extraordinary steps to keep information off the record.

She said that Trump held many meetings in his White House residence, away from where the president fulfills official duties.

“Because the president at the time was so paranoid of leaks … a lot of meetings took place in the residence,” she said.

“Number one, so that he could keep track of who was in there and that if it leaked out, he could try to figure that out.

“But number two, so that it was very much kept off the books and documents and anything that was written down could probably be thrown in the trash where people can’t come and retrieve them to put into the archives.”

She added: “That happened quite a bit and I’m sure the select committee is aware of that and is looking into that.”

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Watch her CNN interview here:

The January 6 committee is seeking extensive records from Trump’s final months in office, which the former president has attempted to block from release, citing executive privilege to argue that they should be shielded from the public.

On Friday, a US judge granted Trump’s attorneys a temporary block on the release of the records as they prepare a legal challenge. President Joe Biden has said that the records are not shielded under executive privilege because Trump is no longer president.

The panel is also seeking testimony from top Trump allies and aides. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon defied a subpoena for testimony, and on Friday was indicted on charges of contempt of Congress by a federal grand jury.

Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also defied a subpoena to appear before the committee, and said he won’t cooperate until the legal battle over the scope of Trump’s executive privilege is resolved.

In her CNN interview, Grisham said Meadows was involved in planning some of the off-the-books meetings, and should be a focus of the inquiry.

“Mark Meadows was one towards the end who was definitely helping to plan those meetings so I think Mark Meadows should be spoken to, I think that he will stall,” she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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