Stephanie Grisham, Communications Director of Melania Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will replace the White House Press Secretary, continuing the ascent of a former campaign assistant who stood as a loyal defender and sometimes competes with the Trump family .
Mrs. Grisham will also take on the additional role of Director of Communications, a position that has been vacant since Bill Shine’s departure in March, and will retain her role in the East Wing.
Mrs. Trump announced the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.
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
While other names were originally proposed, the choice of Mrs. Grisham by President Trump has left another loyalist to the public face of an administration defined by his pugilists relationships with journalists. But the appointment of Mrs. Grisham – a role in a three – including the management of the global communication strategy, everyday media relationships and incoming requests for the wing – also shows how the nature of these jobs changed under Mr. Atout.
For example, the president did not rely on press officers to explain his decision: he did it himself. Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office on Tuesday for an independent event that Mrs. Grisham “was with me from the start” and added that she was popular with White House officials and journalists.
“Many people wanted the job,” Trump said. “She’s here, she knows everyone, she gets along well with the media.”
Mr. Trump said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman supported Jared Kushner, the son of the president and senior advisor in the selection, would remain in the West Wing as the main substitute. Mrs. Grisham’s presence in the west wing will also be Mrs. Trump a larger window on what happens in a workplace where the president’s children have an excessive influence, according to a senior assistant.
Regardless of the unorthodox boss, Mrs. Grisham is expected to make changes to a changing communications agency for two and a half years.
In recent weeks, White House officials have been debating internally about whether to restart the daily press conference as Mr. Trump approaches the election season. A person familiar with the schedule said Tuesday that a version of an official briefing would probably be reactivated under the responsibility of Mrs. Grisham. As a press officer, Sanders removed daily press conferences, a task that for a long time was a primary function of the work, and organized improvised walking and talking meetings in the alley of the White House. .
But it is apparently also the responsibility of Mrs. Grisham to carry out a long-term planning – not to mention juggling the east wing – while serving as a caretaker for a president who enjoys an ordinary diet. almost daily interactions. with the media, and is disturbed if the end result is not a flattering wrapper.
West Wing assistants say that Mrs. Grisham understands both the long-term planning and the daily diet of the media. “Stephanie can take a look around the corner,” Kellyanne Conway, a president adviser, said in an interview that Mrs. Grisham “had the memory of the East and West Wings Campaign and Wings.”
But others who have had this work have difficulty understanding how Mrs Grisham could handle a list of conflicting priorities.
“Juggling the three jobs is a bit too much, but in reality, I doubt if she is the director of communications,” wrote Ari Fleischer, former press secretary of President George W. Bush. “No one has played this role in the Trump White House yet and I can’t really see anyone playing it because of the way the president communicates.”
Ms. Grisham will be the press president of the third president within three years.
His first press officer, Sean Spicer, former spokesperson and strategist for the Republican National Committee, set the tone for the White House communication operation. At the start of his term, the administration said on stage that Trump’s inauguration “had attracted the largest audience ever to attend an inauguration, personally and globally.”
Mr. Spicer, who also held both positions for a while, hoped to be able to maintain his position for a year, but stopped after six months and a day.
Mrs. Sanders proceeded in a different way, by phasing out the daily briefing that Mr. Trump never liked, and acting more as an advisor to the inner group of the president. Mr. Trump saw her as a “warrior,” and even called him on the microphone during the re-election for 20,000 people, as a sign of recognition. The day the president announced the resignation of Mrs. Sanders, it was 94 days since she met the reporters.
Senior officials said the lack of briefing was a top priority and that loyalty was paramount. In the White House, Mrs. Grisham turned up as a fierce defender of the first lady, wrote editorials that criticized the media for the way she treated them, and kept the wing relatively leak-free.
Last year, when Mrs. Trump wore a cap with the capitals “I don’t really care about visiting the children of detained immigrants, Ms. Grisham turned around and scolded the reporters for posing questions about his choice of fashion.
“It’s just a jacket,” Mrs. Grisham said at the time. This turned out not to be true. A few months later, Mrs. Trump said in an interview that the jacket was carrying a direct message “to the people and left-wing media who criticize me”.
Mrs. Grisham has also fallen in public clashes between the White House and former assistants – or former women. When Ivana Trump, the president’s first wife, introduced herself as the first lady, Mrs. Grisham made the unusual decision to make a statement. When Mira Ricardel, former National Security Council adviser, raped the first lady, Mrs. Grisham released another one.
“The position of the First Lady is that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in the White House,” Mrs. Grisham wrote.
When Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former Trump adviser, publicly disputes the conditions of her departure, Mrs. Grisham replied: “I’m not going to waste my time discussing semantics.”
Ms. Grisham, 42, was born in Arizona, where she worked in republican politics before joining the Trump campaign. In 2013 she was charged with drunk driving, speeding and an invalid driver’s license. The charge was reduced to reckless driving in 2014, according to court records.
Mrs. Grisham was arrested again in Arizona in December 2015 and charged with driving under the influence. She pleaded guilty, was fined and sentenced to a treatment program, according to court records. Mrs. Grisham said on Tuesday that she had finished what she described as a security class and that she had paid the fines and that she had leaked the episodes to the White House before going to work.
Since her arrival, her enthusiasm for service at the White House has also won over the reluctance of ethical experts: the Bureau of the Special Council warned last July that the tweet of a slogan of the Trump campaign was a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while they are at work.