Stephanie Grisham to take over as White House press secretary

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrump lashes out at NYT, WaPost amid criticism of coronavirus response OAN says it will attend briefing as White House guest after violating social distancing rules UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus MORE, the top spokesperson for Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump urges Americans to wear face coverings in public Trump again tests negative for coronavirus Melania Trump speaks with Canada's first lady following her coronavirus recovery MORE, has been selected as the new White House press secretary, the first lady announced Tuesday.

"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," the first lady tweeted.

Grisham, who joined the Trump campaign in 2015 and has worked at the White House since Trump's inauguration in 2017, will replace Sarah SandersSarah Elizabeth SandersFox News's Hume rips Alexander over 'gotcha' question to Trump NBC's Alexander: I gave Trump 'a softball' question as opportunity to 'reassure' Americans Coronavirus puts new use to White House press briefing room MORE, who is leaving her post at the end of the month.

In addition, Grisham will serve as White House communications director, a role left vacant since Bill Shine's departure in March.

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Trump told reporters later Tuesday that he believes Grisham’s status as a longtime White House staff member will serve her will. He said he offered Grisham the job on Tuesday morning after hearing recommendations from several members of his staff.

“She's here. She knows everybody. She actually gets along with the media very well, as you know. A lot of folks in the media like her very much. And I think she is going to be fantastic. I think she’s going to do a great job,” said the president, who frequently spars with reporters. 

Grisham will be Trump's third press secretary since taking office. Sanders served in the role for just shy of two years, while Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerMisplaced outrage over who attends a White House press conference Trump-NBC battle highlights shortcomings of White House coronavirus briefings The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump triggers emergency powers to fight outbreak MORE lasted roughly six months in the job before her.

Sanders tweeted that Grisham "will be an incredible asset to the president and the country" and added she is "proud to have another mom and a great friend in this role." 

In serving as spokeswoman for the first lady, Grisham has been able to limit leaks in ways the West Wing has not. Her tenure has been marked by her fierce defenses of Melania Trump, which have included public criticisms of the president's allies and the news media's coverage.

Grisham penned an op-ed in CNN last December chastising the press for focusing on "the trivial and superficial" rather than the first lady's substantive initiatives.

Mira Ricardel, a former adviser on the National Security Council, departed her job last year after the first lady's office called for her ouster.

“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” Grisham said in a statement at the time.

It's unclear if Grisham will preside over significant changes to the White House press operation. Sanders oversaw the demise of the daily briefing and served as one of the president's top advisers. The last press briefing was more than 100 days ago. 

Trump told The Hill in an exclusive interview on Monday that replacing Sanders "is not gonna be easy."

Asked if he would bring back the daily briefing, Trump was non-committal, instead criticizing some reporters' behavior.

"You have some of these people who became sort of semi-rich because of that and well-known," Trump said.

Updated 3:47 p.m.