Grisham will also serve as White House communications director, a position that has been vacant since former Fox News executive Bill Shine stepped down in March to advise President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
“I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country,” Melania Trump tweeted 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
Grisham has served in the first lady’s office since March 2017, when she was brought on as communications director. Last year, she was promoted to deputy chief of staff for communications.
Before moving to the East Wing, Grisham worked as deputy press secretary for then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer. She previously served on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and on his transition team following the election.
The president announced Sanders’ departure from the White House in a tweet earlier this month, lauding her as “a very special person with extraordinary talents.”
“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” he tweeted. “Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
He described Grisham as “terrific” when asked on “Fox & Friends” earlier this month whether she was a contender for Sanders’ old position.
Grisham has built a reputation among White House staffers and reporters as the first lady’s “enforcer,” according to The Washington Post. She has aggressively defended Melania Trump amid some of her most controversial moments.
For instance, in June 2018, the first lady infamously wore a green jacket emblazoned with the words, “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” while traveling to Texas to visit a detention facility housing children who had been separated from their parents.
Grisham snapped at the media over its coverage of that bizarre wardrobe choice, stating there was “no hidden meaning” and that reporters should focus on the first lady’s work and not her clothing.
“After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe. (Much like her high heels last year),” Grisham said in a statement, referring to the first lady’s choice to wear Manolo Blahnik stilettos in 2017 while visiting Hurricane Harvey-stricken Houston.
Grisham’s loyalty to the Trumps once drew scrutiny from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog agency unrelated to the office formally operated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The OSC issued her a warning letter for violating the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits government employees from engaging in a political campaign, after she tweeted in July 2018 about her three-year anniversary working for Team Trump.
Asked for comment about the opinion, Grisham told CNN that she stood by her tweet. “Since Day 1, I’ve been proud to work for this President, this first lady, and this administration,” she told the outlet.
Prior to joining Trump’s camp, she worked on Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 presidential campaign and as the spokeswoman for the Arizona attorney general’s office.
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