Trump's former spokesperson reveals that he was "gleefully" rewinding Capitol riot footage on Jan. 6

"Look at all of the people fighting for me," the president reportedly said as the violent insurrection unfolded

By Jon Skolnik

Published January 7, 2022 5:33PM (EST)

Former President Donald Trump and Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump and Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

​Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Thursday that Donald Trump watched the Capitol riot unfold "gleefully" on January 6, proudly rewinding footage of the insurrection on his television. 

"All I know about that day was that he was in the dining room, gleefully watching on his TV as he often did, 'look at all of the people fighting for me,' hitting rewind, watching it again — that's what I know," Grisham told CNN's "New Day."

Her remarks, made on the anniversary of the riot, align with past reports about Trump apparently glued to the TV screen as the riot played out. Last year, Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig said in a CNN interview that the president was in the dining room of the Oval Office" during the insurrection, "watching it and almost giddy."

But Trump's glee was reportedly not unanimous amongst his inner circle, according to recent findings by the House committee charged with investigating the insurrection. Over the past several weeks, the panel unearthed a trove of text messages from numerous Trump allies – including Fox News hosts and members of his own family – pleading with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to have the president call off the insurgency. 

"He's got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough," Trump's son, Don Jr., texted Meadows at the time. ​​"We need an Oval Office address. He has to leave now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."

REVEALED: Fox News hosts, Donald Trump Jr. bombarded Mark Meadows during Capitol riot


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On Wednesday, Grisham, who resigned immediately after the riot, met with the January 6 panel to discuss Trump's complicity in the riot, telling reporters that she "fully cooperated" with the panel's questioning. The meeting was in large part set up by select committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who reportedly privately called Grisham and encouraged her to meet with the committee, according to CNN. Grisham said that the committee was especially interested in the White House's internal activities during the insurrection.

On Thursday, Grisham said that more than a dozen ex-Trump confidantes are planning to stage an intervention with the former president.

"Next week, a group of former Trump staff are going to come together, administration officials are going to come together and we're going to talk about how we can formally do some things to try and stop him and also, the extremism, that that kind of violence, rhetoric that has been talked about and continues to divide our country," Grisham told CNN's "New Day."

Grisham said that "about fifteen" of her former colleagues are involved in the scheme, some of whom have already had "informal chats" about it, according to CNN. Among them include White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; Miles Taylor, a former top DHS official; and Olivia Troye, an ex-adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence.

RELATED: Trump abruptly cancels planned Jan. 6th anniversary speech, throws temper tantrum


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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