Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham will be the next White House press secretary, the first lady announced Tuesday.
Grisham succeeds Sarah Sanders, whose last day at the White House is Friday. The outgoing press secretary is moving back to Arkansas, where the president is pushing her to run for governor.
The president did not immediately issue statement on Grisham’s appointment. It was his wife who said in a tweet that her trusted aide was switching jobs.
‘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,’ the First Lady tweeted, upstaging her own husband.
In: Stephanie Grisham has been named White House press secretary, her boss Melania Trump announced
Donald Trump said Monday that was considering ‘four or five’ different people to replace outgoing Press Secretary Sarah Sanders
The president has taken Sanders’ departure harder than other aides leaving, calling her a ‘warrior’ and publicly expressing that he hopes she runs for governor in Arkansas
Trump had said less than 24 hours prior that he was considering four or five different candidates to replace Sanders, who said she’d be leaving the White House at the end of the month,
‘Replacing Sarah is not going to be easy,’ the president told The Hill during an Oval Office interview, ‘a lot of people want the job. We have four or five people that really want it, very good people, very good names.’
The president described Sanders as ‘irreplaceable,’ and jested that he would eventually ‘move on’ from her during the Monday discussion.
‘Sarah has done a fantastic job, she’ll be governor. She won’t talk to us anymore,’ he quipped, praising his exiting press secretary.
He did not name potential replacements. But Grisham was assumed to be a frontrunner alongside Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.
Trump announced on Twitter on June 13 that Sanders would be leaving her post at the end of June, and that same day she took the podium during a White House event to give a teary-eyed goodbye.
She thanked the president for the opportunity to serve as his spokeswoman for the last two years, and Trump kissed her on the cheek and the they embraced. Sanders has served in the Trump White House since his inauguration, and previously was a top deputy in the press office.
‘She’s done an incredible job. We’ve been through a lot together. She’s tough and she’s good,’ Trump gushed in remarks before she took the podium to speak, adding that she is a ‘warrior.’
Sanders spoke from the podium June 13 during a White House event the same day Trump announced she would be departing, and gave a tearful goodbye. She will leave her position at the end of June
She also spoke to a crowd of over 20,000 Trump supporters during the president’s launch rally of his 2020 campaign in Orlando, Florida last week
Sanders took over pretty early in Trump’s presidency after his first press secretary, Sean Spicer, was ousted. He only served for the first six months after Trump was inaugurated
As Trump mulled who he’d like to replace Sanders anonymous rumors of sex, laziness and criminal behavior have spread around White House, according to the Washington Examiner.
Rumors include tales of a government spokesperson, who was thought to be a contender, putting on a face for the cameras and then exhibiting poor work ethic behind the scenes. A second individual was thought to have engaged in misconduct that could amount to a crime. There is a third that people have said sleeps with Secret Service agents.
Stories regarding Grisham also began to circulate this week, including the first lady not wanting to let her go, as she began to look like a clear favorite. A former White House official told the Examiner that the claims about Melana Trump were untrue.
‘[Melanie Trump] is very supportive of people growing professionally. She would never say, ‘I’m keeping Stephanie,” the source familiar who was said to be familiar with the selection process said.
First lady Melanie Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham (upper left), Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley (bottom left), former State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert (upper right) and former Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh (bottom right) have all been floated as potential replacements for Sanders
One person familiar with the process told DailyMail.com prior to the announcement that Grisham would succeed Sanders that she or Gidley were the likely replacement.
‘Whomever he decides to go with, it’s a very public face and gives voice to the administration and to the public, ‘ the person noted.
The source said that it’s up to the chief of staff and the White House press secretary with ‘so much action’ taking place in the West Wing to act as the president’s gatekeeper and help determine ‘what comes in and stay outs.’
Among the qualities that Trump was said to be considering was the ‘personal connection’ between himself and the person expected to disseminate his message.
‘They know my voice, and they’re going to know what I want to say and how to say it,’ the person said of the process.
That he settled on Grisham was no surprise to former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who told DailyMail.com, ‘She’s a great pick.
‘She has both the respect of the president and first lady as well as a deep understanding of the needs of White House reporters gained through her time in the campaign, transition and first two plus years of this White House,’ he said.
Trump cited those same qualities in an Oval Office
Three times since Trump announced that Sanders would be leaving the White House, he’s said she should run for governor of Arkansas. She’ll be returning to the state after a family vacation. She has not announced her next
Sanders is married and has three young children.
‘If we could get her to run for governor of Arkansas, I think she’ll do very well. I’m trying to get her to do that,’ Trump said at the event.
Although she did not appear to take the gubernatorial recommendation enthusiastically, she did not run out the possibility of serving in public office in the future.
‘I’ve learned a long time ago never to rule anything out,’ she said during a talk with reporters in her office in the West Wing. ‘I do look forward to going back home.’