It wasn’t 76 trombones leading the big parade, but Donald Trump’s White House did employ a “music man” who solved problems with show tunes. According to a new book by former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, the “music man” was the only person who could manage Trump’s “terrifying” temper, playing hit songs from musicals to help calm him down.
Grisham, who in her nine months on the job never held a televised briefing with reporters, has written a tell-all book entitled, I’ll Take Your Questions Now. Via the New York Times, she wrote that, “When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing.”
When Trump spiraled out of the control, the only remedy was the “Music Man” — an unnamed aide who the Times identifies as Grisham’s ex-boyfriend, Max Miller, who is currently running for Congress in Ohio with Trump’s endorsement. Miller placated Trump with his favorite show tunes. This included the maudlin Cats ballad “Memory,” which finds an old, unloved feline pining for the days when she was young, beautiful, and adored.
Grisham doesn’t come across as a sympathetic figure, though you can certainly wince on her behalf. At one point, Trump called her aboard Air Force One to defend the size of his penis after Stormy Daniels joked about its size. After Trump finished a long rant about his genitals, she replied, “Uh, yes sir.”
Grisham eventually moved from her role as White House Press Secretary to Melania Trump’s office. She writes that the First Lady became increasingly disengaged, and that she did not comment on the January 6th insurrection because she was photographing a rug. Grisham resigned later that day. “I should have spoken up more,” she said.
The Music Man himself, Miller, seems increasingly likely to win a seat in Congress. And Trump continues to imply that he will once again seek the Presidency in 2024. Since leaving office, he started a blog which ended after one month, and embarked on a “History Tour” that struggled with ticket sales. Earlier this year, it was revealed that in 2019, Trump asked the Justice Department to make SNL stop teasing him.