Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who hit the headlines in 2022 when she shared a screenshot of a personal conversation between herself and former First Lady Melania Trump, told MSNBC that she saw former President Donald Trump showing classified documents to people at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Grisham, who served as Trump’s top spokesperson between July 2019 and April 2020, told the network that she saw the former president handling classified documents on the dining room patio of his Florida property.
“I watched him show documents to people at Mar-a-Lago on the dining room patio,” Grisham said. “So, he has no respect for classified information, never did.”
Grisham made the comments to MSNBC host Alex Witt, who asked the former White House official if it was believable that Trump would show guests classified documents, to which she said “yes.”
Grisham also argued that the former president’s own comments suggest he is guilty of the crimes detailed in the indictment against him.
The comments could see Grisham pulled into an ongoing investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents. In June, the former president pleaded not guilty to 37 counts relating to his alleged misconduct, including alleged efforts to stop federal government officials from recovering documents he took after leaving the White House.
“He talks specifically that he should have declassified it, but he didn’t,” Grisham said, referring to recently obtained audio recordings of meetings Trump held at Mar-a-Lago. “I believe also there’s a portion of the audio where he says, you know, this is off the record.”
Grisham added that she believed Trump was “covering” himself by insisting the conversation was off the record.
Defending himself against the accusations, former President Trump has repeatedly told reporters and crowds at campaign rallies that documents removed from the White House by the president are automatically declassified, and that he is protected by the Presidential Records Act.
During an interview with ABC News, the former president also said that during the recordings, he was not actually holding any classified documents.
“I would say it was bravado, if you want to know the truth, it was bravado,” Trump said about the recording. “I was just talking and just holding up papers and talking about them, but I had no documents. I didn’t have any documents.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.