- Melania Trump said she was "unaware" of the violence unfolding at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
- Trump pushed back on Stephanie Grisham's claims that she refused to condemn the violence when asked.
- "I always condemn violence," the former first lady told Fox.
Former First Lady Melania Trump said she was "unaware" that rioters were storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021, refuting her ex-chief of staff Stephanie Grisham's recent claims that she refused to condemn the violence when asked to.
"I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building," Trump said during an interview with Fox News Digital published Thursday, adding that she was busy organizing a photoshoot of the renovations in the White House at the time.
"I always condemn violence," she continued.
The comments come weeks after Grisham revealed an alleged text exchange with Trump on January 6, in which she asked the first lady if she wanted to release a statement denouncing the Capitol attack.
"Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" Grisham apparently texted Trump, according to a screenshot she publicly shared.
"No," Trump replied, according to the texts.
The first lady did not release a statement on January 6. She condemned the violence five days later.
Grisham said the first lady's behavior contributed to her decision to resign on January 6 as chief of staff, a role she held since April 2020. Previously, Grisham had served as White House press secretary and communications director.
In her interview with Fox, the first lady said she "would have immediately denounced the violence that occurred at the Capitol Building" had she been "fully informed of all the details."
Trump went on to accuse Grisham of failing to "provide insight and information into the events surrounding January 6" ahead of time.
"Ms. Grisham was not in the White House on January 6, and her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty," the former first lady told Fox.
"Traditionally, the First Lady's Chief of Staff provides detailed briefings surrounding our Nation's important issues," she added.
Grisham reacted to Trump's interview with Fox News on Thursday in a tweet, writing: "Lol. That's truly all I've got."
Grisham has been highly critical of the former first lady and former President Donald Trump since she left her top post last year. She released a bombshell memoir in October detailing her time working for the first couple. In response, the Trumps have repeatedly rejected Grisham's statements and characterized her as a disgruntled former staffer.