Washington- In her new bombshell book, ex-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says former US officials may have violated federal law Arabia by illegally accepting and not declaring gifts from their hosts, when president Donald Trump paid a visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 on the first leg of his maiden foreign trip.
“The rooms were paid for by the Saudi government,” Grisham wrote in her forthcoming memoir titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” adding that “we were told we could order anything we wanted on the room service menu.”
She added that the offer was in violation of the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, but much of the former White House staffers on Trump’s entourage were unaware of the basic protocol.
“It was the first and only time that happened, because we came to find out that it was against the rules,” Grisham continued. “I don't know if the state department ended up paying for staff rooms, but I imagine they did.”
Normally, US officials are trained to remain vigilant about foreign gifts, and must report anything worth more than $415.
“At the time we didn’t know, or maybe didn't care, that it wasn't allowed and that any gifts given to us had to be reported and turned in so they could be assessed for value before we were given the option to purchase them,” Grisham wrote.
Grisham then described Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of the most influential figures in his administration, as “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit.”
“I have no idea what the end result was or if true, but I remember some people talking about the fact that Jared and his staff had been gifted Rolex watches, ornamental swords, and various textiles,” she said.
‘I regret enabling culture of dishonesty under Trump’
In an exclusive interview with ABC News on Monday, Grisham — whose new tell-all book is out this week — expressed regret over having enabled a “culture of dishonesty” under Trump’s White House.
Grisham was asked during the interview, “You are talking about this cultural culture of casual dishonesty at the White House, so you were, as press secretary, even if you weren’t getting briefings, enabling that culture, weren’t you?”
Grisham, responded, “Yes, I was. And I've reflected on that and I regret that. Especially now when watching him, and so many people, push the false election narrative. I now want to, in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviors within the White House because it does look like he’s going to try to run in 2024.”
Both Trump and his wife Melania have condemned the book, with the latter calling Grisham “a deceitful and troubled individual.”
“The author is desperately trying to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation by manipulating and distorting the truth about Mrs. Trump,” Melania's office said in a statement.
In a red-carpet airport welcome, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud greeted Trump, Melania and his entourage shortly after they landed in the capital, Riyadh, on May 20, 2017.
Trump held a series of meetings with the king and other Arab and Muslim leaders during his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, before jetting off to Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, the Vatican, Belgium and Italy in a nine-day tour across the Middle East and Europe.
The former US president also signed a $110 billion package of new arms deals with the kingdom.
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