First Lady Melania Trump has just hired a communications director.
Stephanie Grisham was hired on Monday to be the special assistant to the president and director of communications to the First Lady.
“Stephanie is a wonderful addition to the team,” said First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement. “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.”
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.
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.
2. She Previously Worked for Arizona Republicans
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.
3. She Has Two Sons, Who During the Campaign Did Not See Her for Months
Stephanie Grisham has two sons, Jake and Kurtis. However, because the campaign kept her so busy last year, she missed quite a bit of time with them.
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
During the election, a group of reporters traveled around with the Trump campaign and attended every single rally of the Republican candidate. Among these reporters, Stephanie Grisham seems to have been well-liked.
On Twitter in October, 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 November, Grisham shared a photo of herself with members of the press, calling them her friends.
In August, she served pizza and cake when there was a birthday among the press.
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.
In January, Grisham congratulated Noah Gray, who had followed Trump on the campaign trail, for his New Year’s Eve coverage.
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.
5. She Says Melania Trump’s Story is Inspiring
In a press release today, Stephanie Grisham said that she is 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.”
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