Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her role as press secretary at the end of the month

By Eric Todisco
June 25, 2019 04:18 PM
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stephanie-grisham
Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Shutterstock; Shutterstock

Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump‘s spokeswoman and a Trump aide since the 2016 campaign, has been chosen to replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the White House press secretary.

Mrs. Trump, 49, announced Grisham’s appointment on Twitter on Tuesday, 12 days after President Donald Trump joined Sanders as she announced she would be leaving her position.

“I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director!” the first lady wrote. “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.”

The president also spoke warmly of Grisham later Tuesday. She will reportedly join him at the G20 Summit later this week.

Grisham was one of the rumored names to replace Sanders, who is returning to Arkansas with her family. Grisham served as a press aide during Trump’s 2016 campaign and, upon his victory, was appointed deputy to then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

In March 2017, Grisham moved to the East Wing, serving as Mrs. Trump’s deputy chief of staff, communications director and spokeswoman — which saw her regularly, publicly push back against what she perceived as unfair coverage. Given the first lady’s official focus on nonpartisan issues, Grisham has so far largely avoided the kinds of controversies around Sanders.

Grisham previously worked for Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful challenge of President Barack Obama.

Sanders, who will leave the White House on Friday, also tweeted out her support for Grisham.

@StephGrisham45 will be an incredible asset to the President and the country,” Sanders wrote. “I’m sad to leave the WH, but so happy to leave our team in such great hands. Stephanie will do a phenomenal job. Proud to have another mom and a great friend in this role.”

Stephanie Grisham
Stephanie Grisham
| Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Shutterstock

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A flashpoint for criticism throughout her time in the administration, Twitter erupted with criticism of Sanders upon her announced departure, largely due to having gone long stretches without holding press briefings and often being accused of misleading the public on behalf of Trump.

“It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have. I’ve loved every minute — even the hard minutes,” Sanders said earlier this month alongside President Trump, adding that she would “continue to be one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president and his agenda.”

“She’s done an incredible job,” Trump said of Sanders. “We’ve been through a lot together. She’s tough but she’s good.”

Grisham will be the fourth woman to hold the title of White House press secretary.