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Trump ‘definitely’ bothered by Melania not turning up for trial, ex-White House spox says

Donald Trump is bothered that his wife, Melania Trump, has not shown up to his criminal trial in New York despite other family members backing the former president in person, his former press secretary says.

Stephanie Grisham, who served as White House Press Secretary from 2019 to 2021, told CNN that a reporter’s relentless questions about the whereabouts of Melania “absolutely” perturbs the former president.

“Oh absolutely I know it bothers him,” Grisham told Erin Burnett on Wednesday. “That kind of thing would bother him if Mrs Trump wasn’t at some event and it was really noted he would definitely bring it up with her.”

Melania has faded from the public eye after the Trumps left office in 2020. She has returned in recent months to being pictured with the former president as he campaigns for the Republican nomination in 2024, mostly at their Mar-a-Lago compound. However, she hasn’t been at his six-week-long trial over alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. The alleged payments were made to keep the affair between Daniels and Trump secret – an affair that happened shortly after Melania gave birth to son, Barron.

Every day, at least one reporter asks Trump in the courthouse hallways, “Where’s Melania?” The former president always ignores it.

Grisham said given Trump did not like when Melania would not show up for particular events during his presidency, so her absense from trial is sure to gnaw at him: “in this context, it’s definitely really bothering him.”

Former President Donald Trump, right, stands with his wife, Melania Trump, as they arrive for a GOP fundraiser on April 6. While they have been pictured together in recent months, Melania has yet to appear at Donald’s hush money trial
Former President Donald Trump, right, stands with his wife, Melania Trump, as they arrive for a GOP fundraiser on April 6. While they have been pictured together in recent months, Melania has yet to appear at Donald’s hush money trial (AP)

Trump has been frequently backed Republican leaders such as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy who have all spoken outside the New York City courthouse. He has also been flanked by family members, but not Melania.

“I would be absolutely floored if she showed up, there’s just no way,” Grisham said. “In her mind, I think she would think she was caving or even look weak to suddenly show up now.”

Duaghter, Ivanka, who has ditched politics since leaving her role as advisor to her father’s White House, has also been absent at the trial.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the media aboard Air Force One in 2019
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the media aboard Air Force One in 2019 (AFP via Getty Images)

“I think Melania and Ivanka are thinking about their own optics. They haven’t been here the whole time and I’m just not sure showing up now would do anything but cause more speculation,” Grisham said.

Grisham said it’s not surprising Ivanka is not at the trial because she likely wants to shield her children from the trial.

A source close to Trump told CNN that Ivanka and Jared may appear at the trial before the jury delivers a verdict – which could happen as soon as today. But that has not been publically confirmed.


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