Hours after President Donald Trump announced that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would be leaving her position at the end of the month, a name emerged from multiple sources close to the president for who should be Sanders’ replacement.
Stephanie Grisham, the White House Director of Communications for first lady Melania Trump, has been a loyal soldier fighting to advance Trump’s agenda dating all the way back to his first month on the campaign trail in 2015 when she was a low-level press staffer.
In December, The Washington Post noted that Grisham has grown to become “one of the more powerful figures in the ever-evolving Trump White House” and referred to Grisham as “Melania Trump’s enforcer.”
A source close to the White House told The Daily Wire on Thursday night Grisham “has proven herself to be a stone-cold killer” and that “no one else comes close” to being able to match Grisham in her ability to command problems that arise.
The source said that Grisham was a “risk-free move for the administration in the run-up to perhaps the most important election in American history.”
“Grisham is pure Trump,” the source said. “She holds down the East Wing with ease and has no loyalties to any faction within the Republican Party. Members of the first family love her and know that she is fiercely dedicated and loyal.”
Another source, a Trump ally close to the President and the Trump family, told The Daily Wire: “Stephanie Grisham is a favorite of Trump loyalists, many in the national press corps, and most important, the Trump family. The First Lady loves Stephanie’s tenacity and loyalty, and President Trump has remarked that he respects Stephanie’s ability to stay cool under pressure and manage the toughest of news cycles. Stephanie might not be the first name that comes to mind for this role, but she’s the one person inside or outside the building who everyone nods their head and says, ‘She’d be great.'”
A third source, who is a former high-level Trump administration official, told The Daily Wire: “Stephanie is one of the last remaining Trump ‘originals’ in the White House. She’s been with him since the beginning, is unquestionably loyal and has the respect of the press corps. She’d be a total home run as press secretary — both for the President and his supporters.”
In The Post’s report, Sanders spoke highly of Grisham, saying: “During the campaign she developed a good relationship with the president, and that’s carried through. She has developed a great amount of trust from both the president and the first lady, which is a pretty high commodity here. There aren’t a lot of people who have a lot of regular interaction with both of them.”
The Post noted that Grisham is hard-nosed and unapologetic in her defense of the president and highlighted Grisham’s response to Trump mocking MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski over an apparent facial surgery she underwent.
Speaking on Melania’s behalf, Grisham said: “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”
The Post noted the following story as an example of how Grisham takes command of a situation:
White House staffers are also learning that Grisham is not someone with whom to tangle. In preparation for Melania Trump’s first solo trip abroad, which she took to Africa this fall, deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel clashed with members of the first lady’s staff. Upon their return, Grisham and the first lady’s chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, approached White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly about the issue. When he took no apparent action, Grisham spoke directly to Melania Trump, who in turn spoke to her husband privately. Then, when still nothing happened, Grisham suggested to the first lady a different strategy: Without giving the West Wing warning, Grisham put out a statement: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
Within days, Ricardel was out of the White House.
…never before has the East Wing issued a statement that resulted in the dismissal of a member of the West Wing, notes Myra Gutin, a professor of communications who studies the history of first ladies at Rider University in New Jersey.
Tom Horne, the former Arizona attorney general who hired Grisham, said: “She’s a very loyal type of person and when there are unfair attacks she responds strongly.”
One White House official told The Post that “whereas the president will tweet himself and react himself,” Melania’s “got Stephanie.”
On Friday, Trump was asked during an interview on “FOX & Friends” about Anthony Scaramucci and Stephanie Grisham being candidates to replace Sanders.
On Scaramucci, Trump said: “Well I like Anthony and he’s been very nice and all but I think Anthony should stay where he is right now.”
On Grisham, Trump said: “Stephanie is terrific.”
This report has been updated to include President Trump’s comments about Stephanie Grisham being a candidate to replace White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.