A gay staffer for First Lady Melania Trump was allegedly fired after White House officials discovered his Grindr account during the security clearance process, former White House aide Stephanie Grisham claims in a tell-all memoir about her time serving as Trump’s press secretary.
According to Grisham, the First Lady’s chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, told her 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 made the claim in her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House, criticizes former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for her friend’s termination, writing that Kelly “oversaw some activities that were frankly shitty” when he fired or reassigned several staffers as part of a shake-up over issues with some staffers’ security clearances.
The move came in response to negative press that the Trump White House received after it was revealed that former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter had been granted clearance despite having been accused of allegedly physically abusing two of his ex-wives.
The fired gay staffer, whose identity isn’t revealed in the book, was reportedly “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,” according to Grisham. She later found out it was because he had used the gay dating app Grindr.
“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.
Although she doesn’t have definitive proof, Grisham has suggested in the book that Kelly was the one who made the decision to fire the staffer, according to Business Insider.
“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 wrote. “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.”
She says the incident caused her to stop being friendly with Kelly and his team in the White House, believing their decision to be biased. But she also heaps criticism on Melania Trump, claiming that the former First Lady — who was angered by the firing — could have stepped in to reverse Kelly’s decision, if she had desired.
Grisham attributes Melania Trump’s inaction as part of the “transactional nature of the Trump White House.”
“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,” Grisham wrote in the book. “I had a DUI, and they let me stay.”
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