Former Trump press secretary reacts to indictment

Former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham provides reaction and insight into the possible next steps for former president Donald Trump and his team.
Former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham provides reaction and insight into the possible next steps for former president Donald Trump and his team.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:45 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to President Donald Trump, said there was likely plenty of anger at Mar-A-Lago on Thursday, March 30, as Trump and his team worked on their next moves following his indictment.

“I’m sure he’s extremely angry. I’m sure he’s lashing out at anyone around him. I’m sure he is making phone calls right now to try to get everybody on the (Capitol) hill and at the RNC, and then some to be going out there and defending him,” Grisham said.

A Manhattan grand jury voted early on Thursday to indict Trump. The exact nature of the charges was unclear because the indictment remained under seal, but they stem from payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital affair. The indictment comes after years of investigation into his business, political and personal dealings.

It is also the first criminal case against a former US president.

Grisham said that at this time Trump’s team is likely asking him to stay quiet as anything he now says can be used against him. However, based on events of the past, this will be difficult.

“He really believes that if he can lash out, he can garner support and that these things will go away. He’s been successful at it. A lot of times he’s able to say things and at least divert the attention for a while, but definitely won’t be smart for him legally,” Grisham said.

Grisham added that it is likely people will start seeing his reaction to the indictment this weekend.

“I imagine over this weekend, we’re going to get a lot of social media posts, where he’s going to paint himself as the victim. He’s going to destroy the people, attack people that are going after him,” Grisham said.

She said it is in his and his team’s best interest that he stays quiet, as the district attorney has not yet released his charges.

“If he starts lashing out this weekend, and saying too much, denying too much before we know what is in that indictment, that could really cause problems. They just don’t know yet. Neither does he. So that’s something they need to be thinking about, and I’m sure they’re going to try to get him to stay quiet, but it won’t happen,” Grisham said.

And while we wait for the former president’s first reactions, here in Arizona both sides of the aisle have already taken to social media.

“President Donald J. Trump has just been indicted by an extremist NY District Attorney. No president of the United States has ever been criminally indicted. Trump Derangement Syndrome has infiltrated our judicial system and if they can come for him, they can come for anyone,” U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs said on Twitter.

This was followed by reaction from the Democratic side.

“Finally, today, Donald Trump’s chickens have come home to roost. I expect this is the first of many indictments of the former president for his flagrant violations of the law. It’s past time he and his associates were held accountable. No one is above the law,” U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva said on Twitter.

Trump and his team will continue to deal with months of legal challenges, while his family and wife, Melania, deal with the aftermath.

“She’s a very strong woman, though, and I have said this publicly, she’s not one to stand by her man when it comes to these kinds of offenses. I would be very surprised if we saw her going into the courthouse with him or heading to Manhattan by his side. This is one of those things that she used to always say to me, this is his problem, he can clean it up,” Grisham said.

She also says he will not back down from his 2024 presidential run. He will take this opportunity to play the victim and fundraise off of his loyal supporters.

But he will have a fight ahead of him.

“In general, I just do not see a path to victory for him, because of the independent voters and the women voters who are out there. This kind of baggage and this constant reminder of him and how he takes the air out of the room, it’s not going to be good for the country, and it’s not going to be good for him,” Grisham said.

Grisham said she hopes that in the coming days, he will not call for any kind of protest so that the nation does not experience another January 6.

Trump is expected to surrender to authorities next week, though the details are still being figured out.