Stephanie Grisham Leaves Role as White House Press Secretary Without Ever Giving a Press Briefing

Stephanie Grisham will leave her role as White House press secretary without ever giving a single briefing.

Grisham will be returning to the East Wing to serve as Melania Trump's chief of staff. The 43-year-old had worked for the first lady for two years before she replaced Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the White House press secretary in the summer of 2019.

"I am excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role," Melania Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. "She has been a mainstay and true leader in the Administration from even before day one, and I know she will excel as Chief of Staff."

Grisham will be replaced by Kayleigh McEnany, a press secretary for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign. McEnany, 31, used to be a CNN contributor and the spokesperson for the Republican National Committee. The news was first reported by CNN and the New York Times.

Grisham's departure comes as President Trump's soon-to-be chief of staff Mark Meadows looks to shake up the White House team. Meadow, a former congressman, was reportedly weighing replacing Grisham with McEnany or Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah. Farah, 30, previously served as the communications director for Meadows and was Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary before joining the Pentagon in August 2019.

"I continue to be honored to serve both the President and First lady," Grisham said in a statement on Tuesday. "My replacements will be announced in the coming days and I will stay in the West Wing to help with a smooth transition for as long as needed."

Grisham had dismissed the rumors of her impending departure as recently as last Friday. She told Axios that it sounded like "more palace intrigue to me, but I've also been in quarantine."

"If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press," she added.

Grisham was under self-quarantine in late March after she came into contact with a Brazilian official at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort who later tested positive for coronavirus. Grisham's test was negative.

The job of press secretary has been a turbulent one since Trump entered office. Three people have tried to take on the role in less than four years—Grisham, Sanders and Sean Spicer. Sanders had the longest tenure, staying in the position for one year. Spicer had the shortest, resigning from his post after six months.

Grisham was criticized for not holding a single press briefing during her time as secretary. Though outside of the White House, she made many appearances as a guest on different Fox News shows. In January, she told the network that she didn't want to hold televised press briefings because reporters "just want their moment to peddle their books."

Update: This story has been updated to include that Grisham will be replaced by Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany.

white house press secretary stephanie grisham
White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham listens during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House October 21, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Grisham is leaving her post as press secretary, according to a report from CNN. Alex Wong/Getty