More than a dozen former members of Donald Trump’s administration are coming together for a national effort aimed at stopping their old boss’s political career.
Stephanie Grisham, a former White House aide who served as the president’s press secretary, made the announcement on Thursday on CNN. The news comes on the one-year anniversary of thousands of Mr Trump’s supporters attacking the US Capitol, an event that spurred many Trump administration officials to resign in shock and disgust.
Ms Grisham, who has been vocal in her criticism of her former boss since leaving the White House (and getting a book deal), said that she was “really excited” about the group coming together.
“Next week a group of former Trump staff are going to come together. Administration officials are going to come together and talk about how we can formally do things to try and stop him and also, you know, the extremism, that kind of violence and rhetoric that has been talked about and continues to divide our country,” she said.
“I myself am hoping to travel the country and talk to people who are believers, like I once was. And I want people to understand who he is. He cares about no one but himself,” added Ms Grisham, who joined the Trump administration in its first year and stayed until 6 January, 2021.
Ms Grisham added that the group’s topics will not just include Mr Trump but also “the people who are still surrounding him”, explaining that the group of aides will try to shed light on the types of people who remained loyal to the former president after his attempts to overturn the 2020 election led to the assault on the Capitol.
She is one of dozens of former administration officials and members of the ex-president’s inner circle whose experiences and testimony has been of interest to the House select committee investigating 6 January; during the same interview on Thursday, Ms Grisham confirmed that she was cooperating with the committee. She added that the panel had shown particular interest in the organising of a rally on the Ellipse, outside of the White House, where Mr Trump addressed his supporters minutes before the riot began.
The committee has subpoenaed numerous organisers of that rally and sought to understand among other questions whether the organisers had connections to groups that were present during the riot and actively calling for or carrying out violent acts.
Members of the committee resumed work this week after the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays by issuing a voluntary request for testimony from Sean Hannity, a Fox News host who texted the White House chief of staff during the riot and begged him to ask Mr Trump to call off his supporters.
Ms Grisham has been a frequent guest on CNN since beginning a press tour for her memoir, I’ll Take Your Questions Now, which examines her time in the Trump White House.