Kayleigh McEnany to take over as White House press secretary

Kayleigh McEnany is leaving President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 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 GrishamMcEnany: Prayer 'made a lot of difference' in 2016 election McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board 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 MeadowsMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus The Memo: Trump agenda rolls on amid pandemic Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal 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 Elizabeth SandersMcEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Sanders mocks NY Times urging DNC to investigate Biden allegations: 'I thought it was an Onion headline' Donald Trump: The Boomer TV president MORE Sanders and Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerMcEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Flynn was guilty and the government could prove it New White House press secretary vows never to lie at inaugural briefing 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 ConwayJuan Williams: Anti-Trump Republicans flex their muscle George Conway group targets Tillis's loyalty to Trump in new ad George Conway group launches campaign to gin up GOP and independent support for Biden MORE and top economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan 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.