Stephanie Grisham will be taking up a lot of jobs in the next coming days — most notably that of White House press secretary. Grisham will be the Trump administration’s third press secretary in three years.
Grisham is currently Melania Trump’s spokesperson and will retain the position even as she replaces outgoing press secretary Sarah Sanders, the first lady announced on Twitter. In addition, Grisham will be the White House director of communications, a position that has been vacant since Bill Shine left in March. Her first major task will be accompanying President Trump during his trip to Japan and Korea this week, according to CNN.
I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director! She has been with us since 2015 - @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 25, 2019
Sanders tweeted her congratulations to Grisham, saying she “will be an incredible asset to the president and the country.” Sanders, who announced her resignation June 13, said her last day in the White House is this Friday.
Under the current administration, White House press secretaries have become characters in their own right. Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders have been so closely tied to the news cycle — often for their dismissive attitude toward the press — that even Saturday Night Live has dedicated skits to them. Grisham, who is already a known quantity in the Trump administration, is shaping up to follow in those footsteps.
Who is Stephanie Grisham, and why is she the new White House press secretary?
Grisham, who has been loyal to Trump’s administration since the beginning, first joined Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015 as a traveling press director. Before that, she worked on Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012. After Trump was elected, she remained in the West Wing as deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer. Melania Trump, impressed by Grisham’s performance during Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his wife Abe Akie’s first visit in February 2017, hired Grisham as her own spokesperson the following month, according to CNN.
Since then, Grisham has been a fierce advocate for Melania, often publicly defended the first lady during her most controversial times. When CNN contributor Kate Andersen Brower wrote an op-ed blasting Trump for not understanding “what it means to be first lady” in December 2018, Grisham immediately shot back with her own criticism of the media, where she said “absurdity abounds.”
“Hopefully, the media will eventually learn to celebrate a woman who, through all the noise, is able to hold steadfast to her mission and stay true to herself,” she wrote. “Regardless, Melania Trump is proud to be the first lady of the United States and is proud to represent the American people.”
Grisham also stepped up when Melania Trump faced conflict with National Security Council staffer Mira Ricardel by releasing a statement on behalf of the first lady that called for Ricardel’s removal — a move that is rarely publicly made.
The big question is whether Grisham will bring back the daily news briefings, which ended under Sanders’s supervision. The day Sanders’s resignation was announced marked the 94th day without a daily news briefing, according to the New York Times.
Grisham will be stepping into a position that has become one of the most controversial roles of the Trump administration, one that requires repeatedly defending the president’s many lies. The revolving door of press secretaries proves that the job isn’t easy. But Grisham’s past four years with Trump have already proved she at least has the loyalty Trump requires.