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Grisham leaves role as White House press secretary

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE is leaving her position as White House press secretary after less than a year on the job, according to two people familiar with the matter.

She is expected to return to her original post representing first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMissouri pastor faces backlash after suggesting wives should lose weight, strive to look like Melania Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - FBI director testifies on Jan. 6 Capitol attack Overnight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions MORE.

Grisham, who replaced Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersTrump likely to form new super PAC We knew media would coddle Biden — here's why it's much worse House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing MORE Sanders in June, will leave her position without ever having conducted a White House briefing. Her departure follows the arrival of President Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump attacks Karl Rove: 'A pompous fool with bad advice' How scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses MORE, who is said to be interviewing potential replacements. 

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Grisham worked on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and served as the first lady's communications director. She retained her role in the East Wing and was named White House communications director upon being elevated to the position of Trump’s press secretary.

She will return to the East Wing to serve as Melania Trump’s spokeswoman and chief of staff effective immediately, the first lady said in a statement issued later Tuesday morning. 

“I am excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role,” the first lady said. “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.” 

Lindsay Reynolds stepped down as Melania Trump’s chief of staff earlier this week to spend more time with her family, according to the statement. 

“I continue to be honored to serve both the President and First Lady in the Administration,” Grisham said in a statement. “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.”

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Her West Wing exit, which was first reported by CNN, comes amid talk of a broader staff shake up under Meadows. Jessica Ditto, another communications aide, announced last month she would be leaving for the private sector. 

Meadows is said to be interested in having Alyssa Farah, a former House Freedom Caucus spokeswoman and the current press secretary for the Pentagon, serve as White House press secretary.

Grisham was Trump’s third press secretary, following Sanders and former Republican National Committee communications director Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerNewsmax adds Andrew Giuliani as a contributor Psaki signals she's open to reviving 'Skype seats' amid pandemic Newsmax rescinds Spicer's White House Correspondents' Association application: report MORE

Grisham’s legacy as press secretary is largely defined by her lack of visibility. She did not hold a single press briefing, nor did she engage in gaggles with reporters on camera, something deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway calls for thorough Lincoln Project probe: 'The lying has to stop' Claudia Conway advances on 'American Idol,' parents Kellyanne, George appear The swift death of the media darlings known as the Lincoln Project MORE and top economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE do regularly.

The outgoing press secretary did appear frequently on Fox News programming, where she was occasionally asked about the lack of briefings. She attributed the decision to President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE’s accessibility and her belief that reporters used the briefings as “theatre” to boost their profile.

She stirred controversy on a few occasions when she granted or limited access to certain outlets. Grisham suspended a Playboy reporter’s hard pass last summer, citing a lack of decorum at a Rose Garden event attended by pro-Trump social media personalities. She caused an uproar again last week by inviting One America News Network to attend coronavirus press briefings as her guest, even though doing so violated social distancing policies put in place for public health reasons.

Olivia Beavers contributed.