White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her post nine months into the job after never holding a single formal press briefing.
Grisham will be assuming a new role as chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump. She had continued to represent the first lady while also holding the titles of press secretary and White House communications director since June of last year.
Mrs. Trump made the announcement Tuesday.
She will be replaced by two women who are familiar names in Trump world. Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany will be joining the administration as press secretary, while Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah will be moving to the White House in a strategic communications role. That’s according to a senior administration official familiar with the moves who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the decisions before they had been formally announced.
The overhaul comes as the president is facing the biggest crisis of his administration. Grisham, who succeeded Sarah Sanders and Sean Spicer, had been sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic and since Mark Meadows, the president’s new chief of staff, began to assume control.
Over the last several weeks, Trump has been personally leading near-daily press briefings, intent on putting a positive spin on the federal government’s response to the pandemic.
Grisham had said when she took on the role that she was willing to hold press briefings, but later said Trump didn’t want her to.
The role of press secretary has been a particularly challenging one under the media-obsessed Trump, who believes himself to be his best spokesman, communications director and strategist, and demands absolute loyalty.
“I continue to be honored to serve both the President and First Lady in the Administration,” Grisham said in a statement. “I will stay in the West Wing to help with a smooth transition for as long as needed.”
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.