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Stephanie Grisham Leaving Role as White House Press Secretary

Stephanie Grisham in Orlando, Florida, June 18, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Stephanie Grisham will be leaving her current role as White House press secretary to return to the East Wing as First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, as new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows conducts an ongoing reassessment of the administration’s personnel.

Meadows is weighing several candidates to take the press secretary job, including Trump campaign spokesman Kayleigh McEnany and Alyssa Farah, the current spokeswoman for the Defense Department, for a communications role, Axios reported last week. Farah has a working relationship with Meadows from their time in the House Freedom Caucus.

The New York Times then reported that both McEnany and Farah were joining the White House.

Since taking over as press secretary after Sarah Sanders departed the White House last June, Grisham established a reputation as a fiercely loyal, and often combative spokeswoman. She served on the transition team and as deputy to former press secretary Sean Spicer, before serving as communications director for the First Lady.

Grisham drew complaints from the media for never holding a White House briefing, with the administration electing to switch to a system of direct press access to President Trump. She dismissed rumors of the job change last week, calling it “palace intrigue.”

“But I’ve also been in quarantine. If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press,” she said. Grisham had self-quarantined at her home after she was one of several people, including President Trump, who came into contact with a Brazilian official who later tested positive for coronavirus. Grisham’s test was negative.

Grisham’s departure comes after the White House welcomed back former communications director Hope Hicks in February.

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