Lively Grindr Account Led to Ouster of Gay White House Employee

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday October 5, 2021

  (Source:EDGE composite image)

A gay Trump staffer was summarily fired — and given an armed escort on his way out of the White House — when his "lively Grindr account" was discovered, former Melania Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham recounts in a new memoir, Business Insider reported.

The book, titled "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House," includes a passage that talks about the firing of the staffer, who worked in Melania's office along with Grisham.

The two were close friends, Insider noted. Grisham said that early in 2018, she was informed that the unnamed gay staff member was being let go even though he had been working with the then-president "for more than three years" because there was an "issue with his security clearance," the article said.

The gay staffer was then "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," Grisham writes in her memoir.

The anecdote was part of what Grisham had to say "about former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who let go or reassigned several staffers after revamping the security clearance process," Business Insider detailed.

"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 explains in the memoir.

Writing that Kelly was "the type of guy who liked top-to-bottom control," Grisham noted that it was "certainly possible" that Kelly was personally involved in the firing. Kelly, Grisham writes in the memoir, "oversaw some activities that were frankly shitty."

"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 details.

Grisham cooled toward Kelly and his team after the incident; she recalls in the book that, "I just couldn't get over that level of bias" behind the man's firing.

She also didn't buy into the reasoning, and condemned the hypocrisy of the action. "If the person had truly been removed solely because he was gay and had a lively Grindr account, that was wrong," Grisham writes. "This was a White House filled with adulterers."

Moreover, "I had a DUI, and they let me stay."

Grisham also recounts that Melania Trump was angry that the man had been fired, but she did not intervene on his behalf, the article said.

"If she had really wanted a staff member back on her team, if she had been truly outraged, she could have done something," Grisham notes in the book, Business Insider reports — but, she adds, "She didn't."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.