White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham steps down to serve as Melania Trump’s chief of staff

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham will be stepping down from her post, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Grisham, who never conducted a press conference while serving as President Donald Trump’s top spokesperson, is leaving the West Wing after less than a year in the role, The Hill reports. She will now “return to the East Wing to serve as Melania Trump’s spokeswoman and chief of staff,” according to The Hill.

From West to East

Grisham will replace Lindsay Reynolds, who “resigned early this week to spend time with her family,” a statement from the first lady’s office said.

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

Grisham previously “worked on [President] Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and served as the first lady’s communications director,” The Hill reported, before she replaced Sarah Huckabee Sanders to serve as White House press secretary. Sanders resigned last June to be with family, ABC News reported at the time.

Grisham had said after accepting the position as press secretary that she was willing to hold press briefings, according to the North State Journal, but President Trump had largely ended that practice even when Sanders still had the position. He has instead taken over press briefings himself, conducting them daily to report on the coronavirus outbreak and the federal government’s response.

“How ironic”

For her part, Grisham seemed surprised by the change as recently as last week. “Sounds like more palace intrigue to me, but I’ve also been in quarantine,” she said in a statement to Axios while in quarantine after possible exposure to the coronavirus at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to NPR. “If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press.”

Still, Grisham said in a statement shared by the first lady’s office Tuesday that she “continue[s] to be honored to serve both the president and first lady.”

“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,” she added.

Shaking things up

According to NPR, the shakeup comes as part of a larger series of staff changes that began when Mark Meadows left the House of Representatives to come on as President Trump’s chief of staff.

Meadows has named Kayleigh McEnany as the new press secretary, NPR reported. McEnany previously worked on President Trump’s re-election campaign.

Meadows has also named new people to the positions of senior communications adviser and director of strategic communications, NPR reported. And as November’s elections draw closer, we can only anticipate that more fresh faces will soon be joining Team Trump.

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