- A gay White House staffer for Melania Trump was fired after his Grindr account was discovered.
- Stephanie Grisham, who worked as the First Lady’s press secretary at the time, blamed John Kelly.
- “If she had been truly outraged, she could have done something,” Grisham said about Melania Trump.
A gay White House staffer in former First Lady Melania Trump’s office was let go after his Grindr account was discovered during the security clearance process, former White House aide Stephanie Grisham wrote in her tell-all memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House.”
Melania Trump’s chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds informed Grisham one day in early 2018 that one of Grisham’s closest friends in the White House was being fired due to an “issue with his security clearance,” despite having worked for former President Donald Trump for “more than three years.”
Grisham, who then served as the first lady’s press secretary, recounted the story in a longer passage about former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who let go or reassigned several staffers after revamping the security clearance process. Grisham wrote that Kelly “oversaw some activities that were frankly shitty.”
The man, whom Grisham didn’t name, “was walked out of the White House by a woman from Human Resources, followed by an armed Secret Service agent, and not given a second thought,” she wrote. She later found out it was because the staffer used Grindr, a dating app most often used by gay men to find sex with other men.
“Whoever determined security clearances had come across his Grindr account and decided that some of the stuff on it would be ‘personally embarrassing’ to Mrs. Trump,” Grisham wrote.
Grisham suggested that John Kelly himself made the decision to fire the staffer, given that he was a “control freak.”
“To this day, I don’t know if the decision went all the way up to General Kelly, although he was the type of guy who liked top-to-bottom control, so it was certainly possible,” she continued. “I do know that one of Kelly’s deputies was well aware of what had happened and supported the decision, something that enraged me on many levels.”
In March of 2018, several White House staffers were let go due to security clearance issues in the wake of domestic abuse allegations against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
Grisham said the incident caused her to stop being friendly with Kelly and his team in the White House. “I just couldn’t get over that level of bias,” she wrote.
She also blamed Melania Trump for the firing, writing that the first lady reacted angrily when informed of the firing decision but ultimately did nothing, which she said was part of the “transactional nature of the Trump White House.”
“If she had really wanted a staff member back on her team, if she had been truly outraged, she could have done something,” Grisham wrote. “She didn’t.”
“If the person had truly been removed solely because he was gay and had a lively Grindr account, that was wrong. This was a White House filled with adulterers,” she wrote. “I had a DUI, and they let me stay.”