White House announces changes in press office

The White House is shaking up its communications staff with a pair of promotions and one new addition, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

Sanders told CBS News that Steven Groves will join the press team to handle issues related to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and legislative affairs. He will handle the White House response to congressional investigations into the administration, Sanders said.

Groves joined the White House in 2017 as an assistant special counsel. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWill Trump ignore the Constitution and stay in White House beyond his term? Trump taps ex-State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to help oversee White House fellowships Conservatives slam Omar over tweet on Gaza violence MORE.


His transition comes as the House Oversight and Reform Committee has already launched an investigation into the White House security clearance process, and lawmakers have expressed a desire to examine the president's finances and the administration's response to Hurricane Maria, along with other subjects. 

In addition to Groves joining the staff, Sanders told CBS that White House spokesman Hogan Gidley has been promoted to principal deputy press secretary. He has essentially filled that role since Raj Shah was reassigned to handle communications around Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMurkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE's nomination.

Shah has since left the White House, and earlier this year was announced as the co-leader of the new strategic communications division of Ballard Partners.

Judd Deere has been promoted to deputy press secretary, with a focus on energy, NASA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sanders said. Deere previously served as the director of state communications in the White House.

The White House later on Thursday formally announced the changes. 

The White House press staff has seen much of the same turnover as the rest of the Trump administration. Former press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerProgressive groups targeting Harvard, other universities with ad urging them to not hire Trump officials Celebs unwind at Capitol File WHCD after party Journalists close out WHCD at MSNBC/NBC News after-party MORE departed the role in July 2017, and former communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Mnuchin plans to hire ex-Fox News contributor Monica Crowley: report Scaramucci: Mr. President, the press is not the enemy of the people MORE had a notoriously short-lived tenure that same summer.

Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Trump defends denying McGahn's testimony House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE and Josh Raffel left their roles on the communications team in 2018.