U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to West Point, New York from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington


  • Former White House Chief Usher Timothy Harleth helped the Biden transition team move into the mansion
  • Former First Lady Melania Trump warned the former president that Harleth might reveal what he knew about their family
  • Harleth was eventually fired on Inauguration Day even though the former first lady pleaded not to fire him

The testimony of former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham revealed that former President Donald Trump wanted to immediately fire the former White House chief usher for helping the Biden family move into the presidential compound.

Grisham told the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol that former White House chief usher Timothy Harleth "independently" reached out with then-President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.

Grisham said Harleth provided Biden's team with a big binder to assist the incoming first family in transitioning into the executive mansion.

"He independently reached out to the Biden people and actually drove a big binder of just kind of how things work in the White House, blueprints so that they could order furniture if they wanted," Grisham said, according to the transcript published by the select committee.

Grisham described Harleth's reaching out to Biden's transition team as "the normal stuff that you would do" during the transition period, but she pointed out that he "wasn't really allowed" to talk to them, Axios reported.

Harleth's communication with the Bidens was eventually found out by Trump and his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which irked the former president and wanted to fire him immediately.

"The President and Mark Meadows wanted to fire him immediately for trying to facilitate that kind of a transition," Grisham said.

Grisham said Trump and Meadows felt Harleth's actions were "completely disloyal." The former press secretary added they wanted him not to help the Bidens during the transition.

Former First Lady Melania Trump intervened, urging his husband not to fire Harleth with three weeks left into his administration, Grisham revealed.

Melania reportedly told the former president that Harleth knew "a lot of intimate facts about the family," warning his husband that the former chief usher could reveal to the public what he knew about the Trump family if he would be fired quickly.

But despite the former first lady's pleading, Harleth was fired on Inauguration Day, the New York Times reported.

Harleth's firing caused an awkward moment for the Biden couple during the inauguration when a set of closed doors welcomed them at the White House's North Portico.

Grisham's testimony showed the apparent desire of Trump to delay or prevent a smooth transition of power after the heavily contested 2020 presidential election.

In 2020, a few weeks after major TV networks projected Biden defeated Trump in the presidential race, the General Services Administration began the formal transition process.

The delay in the transition period was seen as orchestrated by Trump, who was then refusing to concede to Biden.

But then-GSA administrator Emily Murphy insisted that she was "never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch" or White House officials to delay the transition process.

Stephanie Grisham
Deputy White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham (2nd from right) has been appointed communications director for Melania Trump. Above, Grisham attends listening session with White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller (left) and others, Feb. 14, 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images