Stephanie Grisham, the former Arizona House GOP spokeswoman and current press secretary for First Lady Melania Trump, was named White House press secretary Tuesday, the First Lady tweeted.
Grisham was also named the new White House communications director, according to the tweet.
I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director! She has been with us since 2015 – @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 25, 2019
During Grisham’s tenure in Arizona, she was a spokeswoman for former Attorney General Tom Horne and former Speaker of the House, now Sen. David Gowan.
She took an unpaid leave of absence from the House in 2016 to work for President Trump’s campaign.
Grisham fell under some controversy when she left the House. The Arizona Capitol Times reported then that Grisham was still receiving paychecks from the state even when she was not working.
Grisham was supposed to return to the House after Trump won the election, and the state paid her $19,000 during the two-month period.
But during that period she was traveling the country on Trump’s “thank you tour” and was then named to his transition team.
A public records request from the time showed that Grisham didn’t send a single email for the two months she was on payroll. All of the events on her calendar, which were pre-scheduled, ended up being cancelled, according to the story.
Grisham was not quoted in any newspaper during the period about Gowan or the House Republican Caucus during the period.
Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted her support of Grisham Tuesday.
“(Grisham) will be an incredible asset to the President and the country. I’m sad to leave the WH, but so happy to leave our team in such great hands. Stephanie will do a phenomenal job. Proud to have another mom and a great friend in this role,” Sanders tweeted.