Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump ‘would roll his eyes at the rules, so we did, too’

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the media aboard Air Force One while flying between El Paso, Texas, and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on August 7, 2019.Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

  • Former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump wasn’t one for following the rules.

  • She said staff followed his lead, thinking they wouldn’t get in trouble since he was president.

  • The Washington Post interviewed Grisham for a story about Trump’s handling of presidential documents.

Former press secretary Stephanie Grisham said following the rules wasn’t exactly a priority in the Trump White House for the president or his staffers.

In an interview with The Washington PostGrisham described the mindset that contributed to former President Donald Trump’s attitude towards dealing with official documents and other laws concerning the executive branch.

“He would roll his eyes at the rules, so we did, too,” Grisham said. “We weren’t going to get in trouble because he’s the president of the United States.”

Grisham, who also served as chief of staff to the former first lady, turned on Trump after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. She’s since become an outspoken critic of the former president.

The Post interviewed Grisham as part of their reporting on Trump’s treatment of documents. Earlier in the week the outlet reported Trump brought boxes of presidential records – including some that were “top secret” – with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left office.

Other reports said Trump had a habit of tearing up documents, which would violate the Presidential Records Act. The law requires all presidential records to be preserved and handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration, which collects and sorts documents related to presidential duties.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement to The Post on Saturday, a spokesman for Trump said: “This unfortunate attempt by the media to twist a story, along with the help of anonymous sources, is just another sensationalized distraction of an otherwise uneventful effort to persevere the legacy of President Trump and a good faith effort to ensure the fulfillment of the Presidential Records Act.”

Grisham also told The Post she once told Trump about a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which bans some executive branch employees from engaging in certain political activities. She said he responded: “Who’s the boss of the Hatch Act? It’s me. So say whatever you want.”

Grisham previously said Hatch Act violations were laughed off in the Trump White House, Insider reported. She said such violations were considered a “badge of honor.” Her comments came after the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal watchdog agency, released a report in November that said 13 Trump administration officials violated the Hatch Act.

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