Stephanie Grisham, the communications director for Melania Trump, has been named White House press secretary, replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the first lady announced by Twitter on Tuesday. Grisham will also become communications director, while continuing her current role.
President Trump told reporters Tuesday that Grisham “has been with me since the beginning” and that she is well-liked by White House officials and journalists, according to The New York Times. “A lot of people wanted the job,” he said. “She’s here, she knows everybody, she actually gets along with the media very well.”
She is the president’s third press secretary in less than three years. Sanders had announced earlier this month that she was stepping down.
When Sanders held the post, she phased out the formal daily news briefings, instead holding impromptu meetings in the White House driveway. In recent weeks, White House officials have discussed possibly reinstating the daily briefing, according to the Times, as the president enters election season. A person familiar with the situation told the Times that some version of the formal briefing would likely be revived under Grisham.
Grisham is a fierce defender of Melania Trump.
Last year, the first lady famously visited detained immigrant children while wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words, “I really don’t care, do u?” When reporters questioned the fashion choice, Grisham rebuked them, saying, “It’s just a jacket.”
However, the first lady said later in an interview that the jacket did carry a message. She said it was directed at “the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. I want to show them I don’t care.”
Separately, when Mira Ricardel, a former adviser on the National Security Council, clashed with the first lady’s staff, Grisham released a forceful statement on behalf of the first lady, saying, “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
Grisham, 42, worked in Republican politics in Arizona before joining the Trump campaign.
In 2013, she was charged with driving under the influence, speeding, and driving with an invalid license, according to the Times. The charges were reduced in 2014 to reckless driving. She was pulled over again in December 2015 in Arizona, where she was charged with driving under the influence, the Times reported. She pleaded guilty and was fined and ordered to attend a treatment program.
Read the full story at The New York Times.