Stephanie Grisham out as White House press secretary

Stephanie Grisham is the only modern White House press secretary to literally never hold a briefing.
Image: White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on the colonnade of the White House on Nov. 25, 2019.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on the colonnade of the White House on Nov. 25, 2019.Tom Brenner / Reuters file

Axios reported last week that new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was weighing whether to end Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham's nine-month tenure in the West Wing.

"Sounds like more palace intrigue to me, but I've also been in quarantine," Grisham said when asked for comment. "If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press."

Evidently, the scuttlebutt was true.

Stephanie Grisham is leaving her role as White House press secretary after serving in the position for less than a year and will return to her previous job as a spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump as well as her chief of staff, the first lady announced Tuesday.

She'll reportedly be replaced by Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's campaign spokeswoman, who'll become the president's fourth press secretary, following Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Grisham.

Ordinarily, upon the departure of the White House's chief spokesperson, I'd take a few moments to highlight some of his or her most notable exchanges in the press briefing room, but Grisham is a special case: she's the only modern White House press secretary to literally never hold a briefing. Grisham made frequent Fox News appearances, but during her tenure, she did not field a single question from the White House press corps from behind the podium.

Grisham did, however, manage to offer one of the more amazing quotes of the Trump era. Last October, former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reflected on his time alongside the president, which he did not seem to enjoy. Asked for comment, Grisham said at the time, "I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President."

She did not appear to be kidding.

As unnerving as this was, Grisham's sycophancy apparently wasn't enough to keep her at this post.

Postscript: Grisham wasn't just Trump's press secretary; she was also the White House communications director, which has turned out to be a job no one can hold for an extended period of time.

Remember, before Trump took office, he tapped Jason Miller, who worked with Trump during the campaign, to be the first communications director in this White House, though he unexpectedly withdrew before Inauguration Day due to personal troubles.

Then Sean Spicer briefly served as both the communications director and the press secretary. When that proved untenable, Trump brought in Mike Dubke for the job. He wasn't altogether impressed with the White House's operation, so he quit, making way for Anthony Scaramucci, who didn't quite make it two weeks in the job.

Though the communications-director job was vacant for a while, Hope Hicks eventually took on the task, before leaving the White House. Bill Shine took the reins, having made the transition from Fox News, though he left after about eight months. He was replaced by Grisham, who's now moving back to Melania Trump's team.

Her successor -- assuming someone else takes the job -- will be Trump's eighth pick for communications director.