If you didn’t know the Trump administration had hired a new White House press secretary, you’re not alone. Trump normally speaks for himself, and his media shills like Kellyanne Conway continue to hold court on cable news. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders stepped down, it was fair to wonder whether Trump even needed a new press secretary. But it turns out Stephanie Grisham might be the perfect person for the job.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi wrote a piece profiling Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s low profile “communications czar.” Farhi details Grisham’s background as Melania Trump’s spokesperson, and chronicles how she’s mostly stayed away from the spotlight, avoided media appearances and continued Sanders’ tradition of not holding press briefings. She’s the ideal Trump press person, from her quiet demeanor to her blind loyalty and multiple DUI convictions. But it was only a matter of time before people learned who Grisham was and exactly what she stands for. And this gem from the Farhi piece sums it up well.
New White House press secretary: Trump never lies, since he loves America. He just "communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with," and is sometimes "just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals."https://t.co/gS7QN9TI1G pic.twitter.com/gR3K9E1Q7m
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 28, 2019
Grisham isn’t just a mindless Trump drone—she’s also combative and confusing, which is just the way her boss likes his subordinates. Earlier this month, she barred Playboy’s Brian Karem from the White House for a month “to punish him for his conduct during a Rose Garden event in July.” Karem sued, and yesterday Justice Department attorneys said the statement Grisham was using to uphold the suspension was a work of fiction.
NEW: The statement from a @SecretService agent which @PressSec said she was relying upon in her decision to suspend @BrianKarem’s White House hard pass does not exist, attorneys from @TheJusticeDepartment now say. pic.twitter.com/RlkLlALe74
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) August 28, 2019
Nobody’s surprised to hear that a Trump press person was untruthful. Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied to everyone from the media to the public to law enforcement officials. But Grisham’s done her job out of the public eye, at least until now. Perhaps this is the scandal that brings her importance to light. Or maybe it will serve as a reminder that Trump press officials shouldn’t be trusted in public or private. It’s still not clear Trump even needs a press secretary, at least in the traditional sense. But if he’s going to have one, Grisham is exactly it—operating behind the scenes, offering up nothing to the press and catering to the president’s whims.