The media is focusing on Melania Trump’s absences from Donald Trump’s first three arraignments, looking for some insight or meaning or gossip.
To that end, CNN recently interviewed former Trump White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham. Here’s what she had to say.
Grisham on Melania Trump
What do you make of Melania’s silence, one of the interchangeable CNN hosts asked.
“I actually don’t make anything of it. That is Melania Trump. She is saying in her mind this is his issue he can deal with it, he doesn’t need me there to prop him up, and I’m too busy to, you know, to go with him. And that’s who she is. She will show up by his side when she wants to when she is perfectly ready.”
Grisham also addressed a recent Trump quote regarding Melania and the indictments. Here’s the Trump quote: “It’s always unpleasant when you have to go in and tell your wife that, ‘By the way, tomorrow some time I’m going to be indicted. And she says, ‘For what?’ And I say, ‘I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea.”
And here’s Grisham’s take: “I doubt…that conversation even happened…she knows when he’s going to get indicted, she knows what’s going on. She watches media as much as she does so she absolutely knows what’s going on.”
So, yeah, not much to go on there. Melania will show up when she’s ready. Melania watches a lot of media. Great. CNN seems to be running out of things to talk about. But what’s really irritating here is CNN’s subtle framing. It’s my perception and it’s not quantifiable but I will maintain it’s there nonetheless – that CNN is fishing for a few very specific insights.
The first, Melania’s absence suggests that Melania does not support her husband legally (or politically), in turn validating that Left’s opinion of Trump. If his own wife doesn’t support him, he must be rotten…It’s like CNN is hunting for their next Li Cheney or Anthony Scaramucci or Chris Christie. The most revered of Trump dissidents for their conservative credentials.
The second, relatedly, Melania’s absence suggests discord in the Trump marriage. We knew all along he was a creep… Is all well within the marriage? I doubt it. And I understand Melania is sick of campaigning for president. But CNN’s inquiry still seems off. To my ears, the exchange with Grisham sounds high school cafeteria adjacent. It’s a dressed up version of football-cheerleader gossip. It’s subdued enough to avoid being salacious – but it’s not exactly meaningful journalism.
And with respect to the wishful thinking, the desired outcomes, CNN is likely to be disappointed. Melania is reportedly in her husband’s corner, firmly of the belief that Trump is being railroaded. “People close to the family say Ms. Trump’s lack of public support should not be confused with disapproval or indifference. She remains defensive of her husband, sharing his belief that their family has been unfairly attacked. Deeply distrustful of the mainstream media, she is an avid reader of the Daily Mail online, tracking Mr. Trump’s coverage in the conservative British tabloid,” The Irish Times reported.
“He has my support,” Melania recently said of her husband. “And we look forward to restoring hope for the future and leading America with love and strength.”
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.