First lady Melania Trump on Tuesday announced that her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, will take over for Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the new White House press secretary. She'll be serving dual roles in the administration, as Trump also announced that Grisham will serve as the next White House communications director, too. This job had previously been vacant.
In a tweet, Trump said she is excited for Grisham to work "for both sides" of the White House.
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
Grisham had been seen as a top contender to replace Sanders, with Axios having previously reported that President Trump "has told people he likes her and trusts her." Axios also noted that Grisham, who served as an aide during Trump's 2016 run, is "one of a tiny number of campaign originals left in the White House." The New York Times describes Grisham as "loyal and sometimes combative," adding that she's "known for defending Mrs. Trump and the Trump family, and for her ability to keep the East Wing relatively free of leaks." And a former senior White House official described her to CBS as "the ultimate Trump loyalist." Brendan Morrow
President Trump is now comparing members of his administration to animated Disney characters, calling outgoing Secret Service Director Randolph Alles "Dumbo" because of his ears, two officials told The New York Times.
The White House announced Alles' departure on Monday. A retired Marine major general, Alles has been on Trump's hit list for awhile, the officials said, but he moved up a few places after a Chinese woman was arrested last month at Trump's private Florida club Mar-a-Lago after she was found carrying a thumb drive with malicious malware on it. The Secret Service pinned the incident on Mar-a-Lago staffers, saying they did not pay close enough attention to who was on the property.
The officials told the Times Alles was notified 10 days ago that he could craft his own exit plan, and was not given a hard date to leave. Several Secret Service officials said the Mar-a-Lago security breach likely contributed to Alles being pushed out so quickly. When he wasn't complaining about Alles' work, Trump was making pot shots at his appearance, officials told the Times, calling him Dumbo because of the size of his ears. Read more about the shake-up in the Department of Homeland Security at The New York Times.Catherine Garcia
First Lady Melania Trump says she's uniquely qualified to lead a campaign against bullying, as almost nobody has endured more of it than her.
When asked in an interview with ABC News this week what inspired her to launch her anti-bullying initiative Be Best, the first lady pointed to her own experiences, saying, "I could say that I'm the most bullied person in the world." She subsequently changed her statement a bit to say that she's "one of" the most bullied, arguing this is obvious if "you really see what people are saying about me."
Trump launched the Be Best campaign in May 2018, and it's focused in part on fighting cyberbullying. In an August speech, she said that social media can be "destructive and harmful when used incorrectly" and that it's important to teach children "how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting," per CNN. She received some pushback from critics who argued the president himself doesn't adhere to these principles on his Twitter account.
Watch a portion of the first lady's interview with ABC below. Brendan Morrow