As the United States Capitol came under attack by domestic terrorists who swarmed the building in a riot that her husband had incited, first lady Melania Trump was reportedly doing a photo shoot at the White House.
“Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing,” a person familiar with the activity source told CNN. The photoshoot included “professional lighting, the sort used for photography and videography.
While images of the mob breaking into the Capitol consumed the airwaves, the first lady was focused — with the White House chief usher, Timothy Harleth — on getting the shoot completed, the source said.
Both the media and members of her staff were asking if Mrs. Trump had plans to tweet a statement of calm, or a call to stop the violence. She did not. Instead, the first lady was “focused on her photoshoot,” another White House source told CNN.
She has “checked out,” said the source, who added, “she just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.”
By Wednesday evening, two of her first hires as first lady, chief of staff Stephanie Grisham — who also served as Trump’s closest adviser, speechwriter and spokesperson — and Anna Cristina Niceta, White House social secretary, had submitted their resignations effective immediately.