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Kayleigh McEnany to take over as White House press secretary

Kayleigh McEnany is leaving President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's reelection campaign to serve as the new White House press secretary, two sources confirmed on Tuesday.

The former Republican National Committee spokeswoman and the current spokeswoman for the Trump campaign will take over for outgoing press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrumps to spend Thanksgiving at White House instead of traveling to Florida Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis MORE.

McEnany, 31, has long been a fierce defender of the president in television interviews and through the campaign. She was a frequent presence on the campaign trail, appearing at Trump rallies and participating in events for the group Women for Trump.

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A formal announcement is expected later Tuesday.

The New York Times first reported the news.

The addition of McEnany is part of a broader overhaul of the White House press shop under new chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE. The changes come at a critical moment for the administration as it works to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Her arrival also underscores the increasing focus on the president's reelection as one of his top campaign surrogates becomes the face of the White House press shop.

Alyssa Farah is expected to join the West Wing as director of strategic communications, according to one of the two sources who confirmed the shakeup. Farah is currently the Pentagon press secretary and previously served as spokeswoman for Vice President Pence and the House Freedom Caucus.

Ben Williamson, who served as Meadows's chief of staff on Capitol Hill, will become a senior communications adviser in the White House.

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McEnany will be the fourth press secretary of the Trump administration. She follows Grisham, Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersSarah Sanders on Trump's reported war dead criticism: 'Those comments didn't happen' Sarah Sanders memoir reportedly says Trump joked she should hook up with Kim Jong Un McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation MORE Sanders and Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerRealClearPolitics editor corrects Giuliani on Pennsylvania claim: 'This is false' Job-seeking Trump officials likely to get chilly reception on K Street Trump challenges electoral process as hopes for victory fade MORE. Both Grisham and Spicer lasted less than a year in the job.

The role of press secretary has been difficult for McEnany's predecessors, as Trump has long been viewed as his own spokesman. He has commandeered the daily coronavirus task force briefings in recent weeks, often taking questions from and sparring with reporters for up to two hours each evening.

The White House announced earlier Tuesday that Grisham would depart as press secretary to return to the East Wing as the first lady's chief of staff and spokeswoman.

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 ConwayWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Press: Where is Jim Baker when we need him? MORE and top economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE do regularly.

The outgoing press secretary did appear frequently on Fox News programs, where she was occasionally asked about the lack of briefings. She attributed the decision to Trump’s accessibility and her belief that reporters used the briefings as “theatre” to boost their profiles.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:38 p.m.