Stephanie Grisham, 42, has been named the new White House Press Secretary, replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She was previously a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team and the chief of communications for First Lady Melania Trump. So who is Stephanie Grisham and how did she come to work for the White House? Here’s what you need to know.
1. She Worked on the Trump Campaign
Stephanie Grisham worked on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump before joining Melania Trump’s team.
As Grisham is from Arizona, she initially helped set up Trump’s Arizona rallies, but she quickly began to work on rallies outside of Arizona, according to AZ Central. On Election Day, Donald Trump won the state of Arizona with 49 percent of the vote.
During the final months of the election, Grisham traveled with the Trump campaign every day as part of the communications team.
After Donald Trump won in November, Grisham was named special adviser for operations. She was then given the position of deputy White House press secretary.
“Stephanie is a wonderful addition to the team,” First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement about Grisham when she joined Melania Trump’s team. “She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the job, and will be an incredible asset to my office as we build out our agenda, preserve our country’s rich traditions, and serve the American people.”
2. She Previously Worked for Arizona Republicans & on Mitt Romney’s Campaign
Prior to becoming involved in the Trump campaign, Stephanie Grisham worked for various Arizona Republicans.
According to AZ Central, Grisham’s previous position was as the spokesperson for the Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives. She also previously served as the spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
In May 2016, when the Arizona legislature adjourned, Grisham took a leave of absence to go work for the Trump campaign’s press team, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.
In 2012, she worked on Mitt Romney’s campaign. When he lost she could barely get out of bed, Fox 10 reported. “When he lost, I was devastated for a month, and i pulled myself out of bed.”
3. She Has Two Sons She Didn’t See for Months During Trump’s Campaign
Stephanie Grisham has two sons, Jake and Kurtis, and she’s not married. However, because Trump’s campaign kept her so busy, she missed quite a bit of time with her two sons.
According to Politico, when Grisham arrived in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2016, she saw her son for the first time in five and a half months. Jake hugged her and said, “Do you think I could stay attached to you forever?”
Grisham told Politico that this hug from her son was “horrible and wonderful all at once.” She also said that this is a sacrifice she is willing to make.
“Short term, it’s a small sacrifice to make,” she told Politico. “Because I do think he’s best for the country.”
4. She Was Well-Liked Among the Press During the Trump Campaign & She’s Said that Sarah Huckabee Sanders Was a True Friend
After Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced she was leaving, Grisham wrote on Twitter: “@PressSec @SarahHuckabee is a true pro & a dear friend. I will miss her sincere love of country & great sense of humor at the @WhiteHouse – no matter what the future holds, I wish her (and her beautiful family) the very best!”
She also tends to get along well with the press. On Twitter in October 2016, NBC News’ Ali Vitali shared a story of Stephanie Grisham giving her a cookie. Grisham responded by saying that she’s here to keep her people happy, referring to the press as her people.
In September, when reporters rolled an orange down the airplane aisle with a question written on it, Grisham was the one to respond by writing on the orange and rolling it back.
When Grisham was announced as Melania Trump’s communications director, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, who followed Trump on the campaign, referred to Grisham as “Our stylish press aide during campaign.”
However, Grisham has still frequently voiced her displeasure with the press, complaining that many of them were biased against Donald Trump.
In November, Grisham made an unusual move and called for Mira Ricardel, National Secretary Council, to be removed from office and she was. According to Vanity Fair, Ricardel had “bad-mouthed” Melania Trump’s staff and Grisham told reporters “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
5. She Says Melania Trump’s Story is Inspiring & Donald Trump Is One of the Kinder People She’s Ever Worked For
In a press release after she was picked to work with Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham said that she was honored to serve under Melania Trump, saying that the first lady’s story is inspiring. “I am honored by the opportunity to serve as the First Lady’s Director of Communications,” Grisham said. “Mrs. Trump’s life story is an inspiration to millions of mothers and female entrepreneurs, and to me personally. I deeply respect and admire her commitment to our country, her family, and to the important role of the First Lady. I look forward to helping her communicate her unifying message of kindness and empowerment.”
Grisham has previously expressed admiration for Melania Trump, tweeting during the Republican National Convention that she is a “very kind & smart woman…and a dedicated mother.”
She also once said that she thought Donald Trump was “one of the kinder people I’ve ever worked for,” Fox 10 reported. She said that Trump is tough but thoughtful and doesn’t scream people. “What you see is what you get,” she said about him.