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White House spokeswoman Grisham switches to first lady staff

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 07-04-2020 22:12 IST | Created: 07-04-2020 20:55 IST
White House spokeswoman Grisham switches to first lady staff
Representative Image Image Credit: Twitter (@ANI)

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving to become chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump, the White House said on Tuesday, in a move seen as a sign of the internal influence of new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Grisham, who held both the positions of communications director and chief spokesperson, is returning to familiar territory as the first lady's top aide, having previously served as her communications director.

President Donald Trump is considering splitting her role in two, with separate people for the communications and press secretary jobs, said a source familiar with the situation. Under one scenario being contemplated by Meadows, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah would become communications director, and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley or Trump re-election campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would take over as press secretary, the source said.

Grisham took over from Sarah Sanders as press secretary last June, the third person to hold the role in Trump's high-turnover White House. Sean Spicer was Trump's first press secretary. At Trump's direction, she did not hold press briefings but did make multiple appearances on Fox News Channel programs. Going to the first lady's office will keep the Trump loyalist in close proximity. She worked on Trump's 2016 campaign.

"She has been a mainstay and true leader in the administration from even before day one, and I know she will excel as chief of staff," Melania Trump said in a statement. Grisham takes over from Lindsay Reynolds, who resigned earlier this week to spend time with her family. Grisham begins her new role immediately.

"My replacements will be announced in the coming days and I will stay in the West Wing to help with a smooth transition for as long as needed," Grisham said in a statement.


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