Trump had a special aide to play him show tunes to pull him back from rage, book claims

‘When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing,’ Stephanie Grisham writes

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 28 September 2021 18:18 BST
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Former Trump White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham writes in her new book that the former president had a special aide play him show tunes to pull him back from his “terrifying” rage.

Ms Grisham writes in I’ll Take Your Questions Now that Donald Trump often scolded her and made impossible requests.

“When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing,” Ms Grisham writes in her new book that was obtained by The New York Times. Ms Grisham also served in the East Wing of the White House as press secretary and chief of staff to then-first lady Melania Trump.

According to Ms Grisham, Mr Trump’s handlers designated an unnamed White House official known as the “Music Man” to play Mr Trump’s favourite show tunes, including Memory from the musical Cats, to improve his mood.

The unnamed aide is later revealed to be Ms Grisham’s ex-boyfriend. She doesn’t name him, but The New York Times reported that it’s Max Miller, who’s now a congressional candidate backed by Mr Trump.

Politico reported that Mr Miller has a history of allegedly threatening and violent behaviour, including slapping Ms Grisham, who chose not to speak to the outlet.

Mr Miller allegedly pushed Ms Grisham against a wall and slapped her after she accused him of cheating, Politico writes.

Mr Miller’s lawyer, Larry Zukerman, wrote a nine-page letter to the outlet, in which he denied that the episode had taken place.

“Mr Miller has never, ever assaulted Ms Grisham in any way whatsoever,” Mr Zukerman wrote.

The former Trump aide is now running for Congress in Ohio.

Ms Grisham writes in her book that she never held a press briefing while serving as White House press secretary because she “knew that sooner or later the president would want me to tell the public something that was not true or that would make me sound like a lunatic”.

“The truth was that pretty much everyone eventually wore out their welcome with the president,” Ms Grisham added. “We were bottles of milk with expiration dates. ... I should have spoken up more.”

Politico reported on Tuesday that Mr Miller “can be a cocky bully with a quick-trigger temper” and that he has a record of speeding, underage drinking, and disorderly conduct.

The Independent has reached out to the Miller campaign for comment.

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