Melania Trump's Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham Resigns After Riot at Capitol

Stephanie Grisham resigned as chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday following a day of violent protests in the nation's capital.

A White House official confirmed Grisham's departure to CNN on Wednesday afternoon and Grisham told The Hill the news was true. Grisham later tweeted a brief statement about her resignation at around 8 p.m. ET.

"It has been an honor to serve the country in the @WhiteHouse," Grisham's tweet said. "I am very proud to have been a part of @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP mission to help children everywhere, & proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration. Signing off now - you can find me at @OMGrisham."

It has been an honor to serve the country in the @WhiteHouse . I am very proud to have been a part of @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP mission to help children everywhere, & proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration. Signing off now - you can find me at @OMGrisham ❤️🇺🇸

— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) January 7, 2021
Stephanie Grisham resigns
Multiple media outlets reported that Stephanie Grisham resigned from her position as first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff on Wednesday. In the photo above, Grisham listens during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., while serving as press secretary to President Donald Trump on October 21, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty

Before becoming the first lady's chief of staff, Grisham served as a press secretary and communications director for President Donald Trump.

Grisham did not specify her reasons for leaving the White House. Newsweek reached out to the first lady's communications team, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Grisham's departure came as law enforcement officials continued working to gain control over protesters who broke into the U.S. Capitol Building late Wednesday morning while Congressional lawmakers were convening to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Officials with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said protesters marched to the Capitol after attending a rally at which the president spoke.

The crowd of protesters "was intent on causing harm to our officers by deploying chemical irritants on police to force entry into the United States Capitol Building," MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a riot at the Capitol after protesters breached the perimeter and began streaming into the building.

Several MPD officers were injured in the clash that followed and one civilian was shot, Contee said. The New York Times later reported that the shooting victim had died.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress called upon the president to address the protesters in the hope of quelling the violence. President-elect Joe Biden also encouraged Trump to speak to the protesters engaged in what Biden referred to as an "insurrection."

Shortly after Biden made his public address about the events at the Capitol, Trump released a video message in which he told protesters to "go home" but also reiterated past claims about the election having been "stolen" from him. The video was swiftly flagged and removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Others within the Republican Party issued stricter condemnations of the violence.

"The storming of the U.S. Capitol today is unacceptable," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter. "Lawlessness and rioting—here or around the world—is always unacceptable. I have travelled to many countries and always support the right of every human being to protest peacefully for their beliefs and their causes. But violence, putting at risk the safety of others including those tasked with providing security for all of us, is intolerable both at home and abroad. Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting."

Michael Ahrens, the communications director for the Republican National Committee, identified Wednesday's events at the Capitol as "domestic terrorism."

"What happened today was domestic terrorism," Ahrens said on Twitter. "Our soldiers have died carrying the American flag into battle for our freedom. To see that flag used in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it."

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming directly attributed the chaos to the president. "We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty," Cheney tweeted. "There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame."

This story has been updated with additional information and background.