Stephanie Grisham Left Her Post As The White House Press Secretary

Stephanie Grisham Left Her Post As The White House Press Secretary


White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her West Wing post on the job after less than a year, and will work as the chief of staff of first lady Melania Trump, the White House announced on Tuesday. 

She'll be replaced by Trump loyalist and Trump campaign national spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, according to a White House advisor.

"I am excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role," said Melania Trump.

 "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."

Grisham, who had been tapped in June 2019 to succeed Sarah Sanders, didn't hold a single press conference at the White House during her time as press secretary for 10 months. But she also appeared on Fox News from the office of the network in Washington, D.C., as opposed to the White House's north lawn, where many other officials of the administration go for TV appearances.

She said, "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's departure was first reported by CNN Tuesday morning. In the statement from the White House, Grisham said she continues "to be proud to represent both the president and the administration's first lady." She also indicated she might have more than one replacement. The White House communications director and the press secretary positions were formally merged by Grisham. 

Various sources had told CBS News that the spokeswoman for McEnany and Pentagon, Alyssa Farah, was replacing Grisham as the top candidate. Farah previously played key communications positions for Mark Meadows, current chief of staff and Mike Pence, vice president.

Grisham said, "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."

The departure of Grisham comes only days after Mark Meadows took over as chief of personnel. Meadows, a former congressman from North Carolina and one of Capitol Hill's key allies for the president, succeeded Mick Mulvaney, who has served in the position for more than a year in an acting capacity. 

The staff shake-up took some White House employees by surprise, many of whom work at home due to the COVID-19 psychological distancing guidelines. One employee told CBS News that they actually had "no idea" because they were holed up at home with his family. Another staffer found out Tuesday morning from the East Wing press report sent.

After the coronavirus outbreak, Grisham had become increasingly marginalized with Katie Miller, spokeswoman for the vice president, taking on a more prominent role. 

Her leaving comes in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic that has roiled the country as officials of public health scramble to restrict the spread of the disease. Mr Trump appears to brief reporters on the federal government's response to the coronavirus almost regularly on television. During a visit to Mr. Trump's South Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, Grisham had been self-quarantining at her home since coming in touch with a member of a Brazilian delegation who tested positive for coronavirus. She tested negative for the coronavirus-caused disease COVID-19.

Grisham was one of the few hold overs in the White House who served on Mr. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and was the first lady's trusted counselor, acting as her communications assistant until being named as White House Press Secretary and Communications Assistant for a dual role.


Photos: Grisham with the Trump team since 2015 as a spokeswoman for the first lady.