First lady Melania Trump’s spokeswoman is set to become the new White House press secretary and communications director.
Stephanie Grisham will continue her role as spokeswoman for the first lady, while filling the two vacancies for President Donald Trump. The announcement was made Tuesday.
Grisham’s previous title was assistant to the president and chief of staff for communications for the Office of the First Lady.
In a White House known for high turnover, Grisham will be the third press secretary, replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose last day will be June 30, and the fifth communications director, replacing Bill Shine, who left the post in March.
In a somewhat unusual move, the first lady—rather than the president—made the announcement in a tweet. The tweet highlighted Grisham’s role with both the president and first lady.
“I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director!” first lady Melania Trump said in a tweet. “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.”
Speaking to pool reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon, the president declared Grisham would be “fantastic” in the position.
“A lot of people wanted this job. A lot of people wanted to do it. I asked so many people, ‘Who do you like?’ and so many people said, ‘Stephanie.’ She’s here. She knows everybody. She actually gets along with the media very well,” Trump said.
“A lot of folks in the media like her very much. I think she’s going to be fantastic. So, I offered her the job this morning, and she accepted. The first lady is very happy for her. It’s a big job. It’s a very big job, but we think she’s going to do a good job.”
Grisham was part of the Trump campaign in 2015 and has been in the White House longer than anyone else on the White House staff except for social media director Dan Scavino.
Holding multiple communications roles in the White House is unusual.
George Stephanopoulos was the communications director for President Bill Clinton in 1993, while also serving as a de facto press secretary conducting press briefings. However, the dual role lasted just five months.
It’s unknown at this point whether Grisham will bring back regular press briefings, which were mostly eliminated under Sanders.
Grisham previously served in Republican campaigns in Arizona, including as a spokeswoman for the unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, now a senator from Utah and a GOP critic of Trump.
After the Romney campaign, she ran a public relations firm in Arizona before joining the Trump campaign.
After Trump was elected, Grisham briefly was a deputy press secretary under the administration’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, then moved to the first lady’s office in February.
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