"It was really bad": Two ex-aides say they witnessed Trump's sexual harassment in the White House

Former communications chief says she saw "countless cases" of Trump's "impropriety" and reported it to superiors

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published May 10, 2023 1:25PM (EDT)

Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two former White House aides said that they witnessed former President Donald Trump's inappropriate behavior towards women employees at the White House and reported it to senior officials.

The two women appeared on CNN on Tuesday in two separate segments, detailing their accounts of Trump's alleged improper behavior.

Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin told Jake Tapper she saw "countless cases" of Trump's "impropriety" in the White House and reported it to the former president's chiefs of staff, including Mark Meadows.  

She added that former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham had also witnessed Trump "behaving inappropriately with women," as Tapper described it.

Grisham, who published books containing examples of Trump's alleged White House harassment, confirmed Farah's claims in an interview with anchor Eric Burnett later that evening. 

The former White House aide recounted the specific lewd remarks Trump allegedly made about one particular staffer, whom Grisham said she felt she had to protect from his advances.

"He one time had one of my other deputies bring her back so that they could look at her ass, is what he said to him," she told Burnett. "I sat down and talked to her at one point, asked her if she was uncomfortable. I tried everything I could to ensure she was never alone with him."

Grisham said that Trump would also comment on people's physical appearances and speculate about cosmetic surgeries they could have undergone. "But with this one staffer, it was really bad, to the point that I was extremely uncomfortable," she added.

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She said that she feared what could happen to the unnamed staffer, taking measures to ensure that the woman didn't go on trips with Trump and staying with her when she was left alone with him.

Grisham, who some have criticized for not taking stronger actions and writing a book about the allegations afterward, echoed Farah's earlier statement, saying that she informed White House chiefs of staff of Trump's behavior to no avail.

"I think, at the end of the day, what could they do other than go in there and say, 'This isn't good, Sir'?" she said. "Donald Trump will do what Donald Trump wants to do."

The former staffers' comments came hours after the historic verdict in E. Jean Carroll's battery and defamation case against Trump, where the jury found him liable for sexual battery for the mid-1990s attack and defamation for comments he made about the allegations decades later.

The jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages. 

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief Donald Trump E Jean Carroll Mark Meadows Politics Stephanie Grisham