A spokeswoman for Melania Trump known for issuing terse but pointed public comments will take over as White House press secretary, the First Lady announced Tuesday.
The former owner of an Arizona public relations firm, Stephanie Grisham has been with the Trump team since 2015, most recently serving as Melania Trump’s deputy chief of staff and communications director. She had been seen as a top contender for the White House press secretary job since Sanders announced her resignation from the position earlier this month.
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
In recent months, the White House press secretary has been less visible, with Sanders setting records for the number of days since the last press briefing, a question-and-answer period often covered live on cable TV that was standard in previous administrations.
At the time that Sanders’ departure was announced on June 13, she had not held a formal press briefing in more than 90 days.
Instead, the White House has used press releases, Trump’s Twitter account and TV interviews to get the message out, with Sanders and Trump sometimes answering questions in brief appearances in the White House driveway or before boarding Marine One.
As press secretary for Melania Trump, Grisham has issued statements that signaled the First Lady’s independence. After Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said that the First Lady “believes her husband” on allegations of an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, Grisham gave a brief but cutting statement to CNN.
“I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani,” she said.
In another instance, she issued an unusually tough statement about the departure of a deputy national security adviser from the White House.
“It is the position of the Office of the first lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” she said.
And after the TV talk show “The View” aired a segment discussing a conspiracy theory involving a stand-in for the First Lady, she issued another pointed statement.
“I’ve always found it sad that a group of women spend so much time attacking another woman, whose only goal is to help children,” she said. ”Yesterday’s show went beyond the petty, mean-girl spirit that we’ve grown accustomed to.”
Sanders praised the pick of her successor.
@StephGrisham45 will be an incredible asset to the President and the country. I’m sad to leave the WH, but so happy to leave our team in such great hands. Stephanie will do a phenomenal job. Proud to have another mom and a great friend in this role. https://t.co/OYvwL0E1JU— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 25, 2019