WASHINGTON — Stephanie Grisham, spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump, will be the new White House Press Secretary, the first lady announced Tuesday afternoon.
Grisham will replace Sarah Sanders, who is leaving at the end of the month.
Grisham will have a broader role at the White House than Sanders. In addition to serving as the chief spokesperson for for the White House, Grisham also will become the White House’s director of communications, Trump said.
President Donald Trump later told reporters at the White House that Grisham will continue to serve as the first lady’s spokesperson.
Grisham served on the Trump transition team then became a deputy press secretary under Spicer. She began working for Melania Trump in March 2017.
In a tweet announcing Grisham’s position, the first lady said: “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 @White House.”
Grisham will be the sixth person to serve as the Trump administration’s communications director. The position has been vacant since March, when Bill Shine abruptly left the White House after eight months on the job. The former Fox News executive submitted his resignation to President Trump on the evening of March 7, Sanders announced the following day.
Prior to Shine, Hope Hicks was the communications director.
Hicks’ predecessor was Anthony Scaramucci, who famously served in the post for only 10 days. He departed soon after presiding over a rambling news conference. Sean Spicer did two stints in the position, sandwiched between Mike Dubke.
The position of press secretary has been more stable, with only two people serving in that capacity thus far in the Trump administration. Sanders was promoted from chief deputy press secretary after Spicer left in July 2017 following six months into the job. Actress Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy in September 2017 for her appearances on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” parodying Spicer’s feisty news briefings, where he often clashed with reporters.
The last White House news briefing was held on March 11. The president tweeted in January, when Sanders had cut down on the briefings before doing away with them altogether, that he had instructed her to discontinue them because the media treated her unfairly. The White House has not said if Grisham plans to revive the regular weekday news briefings.
The president said on Tuesday that Grisham is well-known at the White House and well-liked by the media. He offered her the job this morning and she accepted, he said. The president added that his wife is thrilled for Grisham.