New press secretary named for White House

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC News) – First lady Melania Trump announced on Twitter on Tuesday that her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, will replace Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary.

Grisham will serve as both press secretary and White House communications director.

President Trump said he offered Grisham the job this morning and said he thinks she will do a “fantastic job.”

“She’s been with me over the years. She’s worked for the first lady, she loves her, I think she’s been just incredible, very talented,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “We think Stephanie’s going to do a fantastic job.”

Grisham is President Trump’s third press secretary after Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders, who announced last week she would be departing at the end of the month to spend more time with her young family in Arkansas.

In a tweet, Sanders said Grisham “will be an incredible asset to the President and the country.

“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.”

Grisham, a single mother of two boys, is one of the longest-serving members of the Trump administration, and began as a campaign aide in 2015. She then served as deputy press secretary under Spicer before moving on to the East Wing where she was communications director and deputy chief of staff for the first lady. In that role, Grisham developed a reputation for being fiercely loyal to the first lady and quick to defend her against White House gossip. But she also made made a splash with her sometimes pointed and fiery statements.

After President Trump tweeted MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly” from a face-lift, Grisham responded on behalf of the first lady by stating, “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”

In an unusual move, after then-deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel tangled with the East Wing ahead of the first lady’s solo trip to Africa, Grisham issued a statement calling for her to be removed from her role. “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”

And of course, there was the jacket that read “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” that the first lady wore on a trip to visit migrant children held in detention centers. When asked by ABC News about why she wore the jacket, Grisham replied, “It’s just a jacket.There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope this isn’t what the media is going to choose to focus on.” The president later tweeted the jacket’s message was aimed at the press.

But in a White House known for leaks to the media, the East Wing under Grisham has been known for maintaining the first family’s privacy. For example, when the first lady was hospitalized, the first lady’s team made sure her status was kept under wraps.The White House said the first lady was suffering from a benign kidney condition and underwent an embolization procedure.

Grisham, who travels almost everywhere the first lady goes, will continue to serve the East Wing as she transitions into her new roles.

She will travel as press secretary on the president’s trip to the G-20 in Osaka, Japan, this week. Friday is Sanders’ last day.

There has not been a been a briefing in the White House briefing room for more than 100 days.

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