KEY POINTS

  • Melania Trump had been "overseeing a photoshoot of a carpet" she installed at the White House on Jan. 6
  • She continued with the photoshoot amid the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol: Report
  • The former first lady's office dismissed Grisham's account as "mistruth"

Former First Lady Melania Trump allegedly refused to call for peace during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and instead continued overseeing a photoshoot of a rug she had recently installed at the White House, according to a report. 

Former chief of staff Stephanie Grisham has detailed the account in her upcoming tell-all book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I saw In The Trump White House,” excerpts of which were obtained by POLITICO.

Grisham said that she sent Melania a text asking whether she wanted to call for peaceful protests and non-violence as a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in January. However, the then first lady “declined to call for peace.”  

"Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?" the text read, according to excerpts of Grisham’s highly-anticipated book.

“No,” the former first lady replied, according to Grisham’s account. 

Melania Trump was at the White House during the insurrection where she was overseeing a photoshoot of a carpet she had recently bought and installed, CNN had earlier said in a report.

"Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing," a person familiar with the former first lady’s activities told the network. 

Despite the Jan. 6 riot, Melania Trump did not call off the photoshoot, the report said. She also did not speak out about the violence in the Capitol nor tweet a call to stop the violence, which is something she had done during the Black Lives Matter protests. 

It wasn’t until Jan. 11, five days after the insurrection, that the former first lady condemned the riot, adding that she was “disheartened” by the violence. 

“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she said in a statement, adding: “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.”

Melania Trump’s office Monday dismissed Grisham’s account of events as “mistruth” and “betrayal,” noting that the former chief of staff had previously shown “unprofessional behavior” during her tenure in the White House. 

"The intent behind this book is obvious. It is an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House. Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump,” the former first lady’s office said in a statement cited by POLITICO. 

Melania Trump, seen here on January 20, 2021 which was the last day of her husband's presidency, cut a fashionable but distant figure Melania Trump, seen here on January 20, 2021 which was the last day of her husband's presidency, cut a fashionable but distant figure Photo: AFP / ALEX EDELMAN