Jul 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

"Unaware" Melania Trump was photographing a rug during Jan. 6 Capitol riot

First Lady Melania Trump walks to the vehicle after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on December 23, 2020.
First lady Melania Trump arrives at Palm Beach International Airport on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former first lady Melania Trump said in an interview with Fox News that she was "unaware" of the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, as she was "fulfilling" her duties as first lady by photographing a rug in the White House that day.

Driving the news: "As with all First Ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House’s historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations," Trump said in an interview out Thursday.

  • "Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution," she said.
  • "As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our nation." 

The big picture: The interview comes after former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, revealed in a text message exchange last month that Trump declined to condemn the violence of that day in a statement.

  • Trump told Fox that Grisham "failed to provide insight and information into the events surrounding Jan. 6."
  • "Had I been fully informed of all the details, naturally, I would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building," Trump said.
  • "And while Ms. Grisham's behavior is disappointing, it is not surprising or an isolated incident."

The other side: Grisham told CNN in reference to Trump's interview that "everything she said is bulls--t and she knows it."

Go deeper... 187 minutes: Jan. 6 hearing to show Trump's deliberate inaction

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