Stephanie Grisham, the communications director for first lady Melania Trump and a long-time aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, will succeed Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary, Mrs. Trump announced on Tuesday.
Melania Trump announced the development in a tweet to close out the president’s search for a press secretary after Sanders decided to resign and go back home to Arkansas earlier this month.
Grisham, 42, a fixture in the Arizona Republican Party, was one of Trump’s first hires – as a press aide in 2015 – of his presidential campaign. She served as a deputy press secretary in the White House when he took office in January 2017 and eventually moved over to the first lady’s operation.
The fact that Mrs. Trump announced the appointment, instead of the president himself, showed that the first lady was willing to part with Grisham for the greater good.
Grisham was viewed internally as the candidate with the best rapport with President Trump, a key requirement. The other top candidate had been Sanders’ principal deputy press secretary, Hogan Gidley.
Gidley tweeted his congratulations to Grisham.
Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department spokesman, had been considered as well but was in the midst of a move home to New York. Former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration.
Sanders is contemplating a political future in Arkansas, considering a 2022 run for state governor, a position once held by her father, Republican Mike Huckabee.