Stephanie Grisham

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Stephanie Grisham
Stephanie Grisham.jpg
30th White House Press Secretary
Assumed office
July 1, 2019
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Sarah Sanders
White House Communications Director
Assumed office
July 1, 2019
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Bill Shine
Press Secretary to the First Lady
In office
March 27, 2017 – July 1, 2019
President Donald Trump
First Lady Melania Trump
Preceded by Joanna Rosholm
Personal details
Stephanie Ann Allen[1]

(1976-07-23) July 23, 1976 (age 43)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dan Marries (1997–2004),
Todd Grisham (2004–2006)
Children Kurtis Marries (b. 1998),
Jake (b. 2008)[3]
Mother Ann Schroder[4]
Father Dave Allen
Alma mater Eastmont High School (1994)[1][5]

Stephanie Ann Grisham (née Allen; born July 23, 1976) is an American White House official who serves as the 30th White House press secretary and as the current White House communications director.[1][5][6] She was a press aide to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign,[7][8] and member of his presidential transition team.[2][9][10]

Early life

Stephanie Ann Allen was born in Colorado to Dave and Elizabeth Ann Allen, the middle child of three.[1][2] Her family are farmers.[2]

She moved with her mother to East Wenatchee, Washington, where she graduated from Eastmont High School in 1994.[1] Her studies focused on "character education".[5] Her mother has since moved to Nebraska, where she is known as Ann Schroder.[4]

As Stephanie Ann Sommerville, she married Danny Don Marries in Nevada on April 7, 1997.[4] [11] They met at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado.[12] He joined KOLD in Tucson, Arizona, on the day after their son Kurtis's first birthday in June 1999.[11][12] They divorced in 2004.[4][13][14]

Grisham began voting in Arizona as a registered Democrat in 1997.[4]

In 2004 she married Todd Grisham, a KOLD sportscaster. They divorced in 2006.[13]


Following her divorce(s), Grisham was the spokeswoman for AAA Arizona in 2007,[15] but was fired within a year after being accused of cheating on expense reports.[16] Grisham was fired from a subsequent job at ad agency Mindspace over plagiarism charges, copying AAA material verbatim into her client's web page.[16]

From 2008 to 2010, Grisham worked as a spokeswoman for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.[4][16] There she met Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public schools.[4]

Circa 2011 to 2014, Grisham served as spokeswoman for Tom Horne after he was elected Arizona attorney general.[4] She witnessed the execution of Joseph Wood and controversially claimed that the two hour ordeal had been "quite peaceful" despite contrary observations.[17][18][19]

In 2012, Grisham also worked for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.[3][7]

After Republican Mark Brnovich defeated Horne in the 2014 GOP primary, Grisham worked as a spokesperson for the Arizona House of Representatives Republican caucus.[4] She revoked the Arizona Capitol Times’s press credentials hours after their reporting that the House speaker, David Gowan, had traveled at state taxpayers’ expense during his campaign for Congress.[4][20] Reporters refused to comply, and Gowan rescinded the order.[4][16]

In 2015, Grisham, as an independent contractor, worked as a press coordinator for Pope Francis's visit to Philadelphia.[21]

Trump campaign and administration

In late 2015, Grisham started working as a press aide to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.[7] According to the Arizona Capitol Times, Grisham first took a long-term, unpaid leave from the Arizona House of Representatives to work on Trump's campaign. Arizona House speaker David Gowan paid her $19,000 in state salary over an 8-week period while she was serving as a member of the Trump transition team.[22][23]

After Trump's January 2017 inauguration, Grisham was named deputy press secretary for Sean Spicer in the West Wing of the White House.[3][7]

In March 2017, First Lady Melania Trump moved her over to the East Wing.[7][15] A former White House colleague of President Trump's said that the president regretted losing Grisham to the first lady's office because of Grisham's loyalty and skill at handling the press while acting as his traveling press secretary. During that time, she built relationships with many reporters at events. Despite losing Grisham as part of his own staff, President Trump said he was satisfied that his wife would "be in good hands". Grisham was described by several sources who had worked with her previously as being "highly competent" and "self-aware"; some suggested that she enjoyed "trolling the press." [27]

The United States Office of Special Counsel stated that Grisham violated the Hatch Act of 1939 following a complaint by Senator Tom Carper. Grisham was accused of using her official Twitter account on July 11, 2018, to tweet out Trump's campaign slogan. Violation of the act is not a crime, but a workplace guideline, and the agency responded by sending Grisham a warning letter.[28]

In July 2019, Grisham replaced Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary and White House communications director[29] Grisham's appointment was announced by First Lady Melania Trump via Twitter on June 25, 2019.[7][30] The June 28, 2019 Annual Report to Congress on White House Office Personnel listed Grisham as "Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications for the First Lady", with an annual salary of $183,000.00.[31]

On September 5, 2019, the Washington Examiner published an opinion piece written by Grisham and her deputy Hogan Gidley entitled, "The Washington Post's lost summer."[32] The authors asserted the Post had not reported on several Trump accomplishments that the paper actually did report. In one instance, the piece linked to a Post story entitled "Trump becomes first sitting president to set foot into North Korea" as the authors asserted the paper had not reported the event.[33]

On September 23, 2019, when asked by the hosts of Fox & Friends if the White House planned to resume its daily press briefing Grisham said "not right now... I mean, ultimately, if the president decides that it's something we should do, we can do that, but right now he’s doing just fine. And to be honest, the briefings have become a lot of theater. And I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous. I mean, yeah, they’re writing books now. I mean, they’re all getting famous off of this presidency. And so, I think it's great what we're doing now.”[34]

On October 24, 2019, appearing on Fox & Friends, Grisham defended Trump's description of "Never Trump Republicans" as "Human scum".[35] When asked if Trump should apologize, Grisham said "No, no, he shouldn't. The people who are against him and who have been against him and working against his [agenda] since the day they took office are just that. It is horrible that people are working against a president who is delivering results for this country and has been since day one. And, the fact that people continue to try to negate anything he's been trying to do and take away from the good work he's doing on behalf of the American people, they deserve strong language like that."[36]

On October 26, 2019, in response to criticism of Trump by his former Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Kelly (Ret.) Grisham stated: "I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President."[37]

As of November 11, 2019, Grisham has not conducted a single press briefing since taking the job in July. However, she appeared on Fox News and the Fox Business Network at least 13 times during the same period.[38]

On November 13, 2019, and during the testimony of William B. Taylor Jr., who was the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine during the scandal involving the U.S. withholding financial support for Ukraine unless they investigated Joe Biden's son, Grisham commented that the impeachment hearing was a “sham hearing” that is “not only boring, it is a colossal waste of taxpayer time & money.” In contrast to the extensive testimony and detailed evidence that Ambassador Taylor offered under oath in front of members of Congress, she did not offer any evidence to support this statement.[39]

That same month, Grisham claimed that Obama administration officials had left "you will fail" notes for the incoming Trump administration officials. Numerous Obama administration officials rejected the claim. Grisham ultimately retracted her assertion.[40]

Legal issues

On January 9, 2013, Grisham was pulled over for speeding in Gilbert, Maricopa County, Arizona. The officer observed Grisham's signs of intoxication and she failed a field sobriety test. Grisham denied consuming any alcohol, but said she had taken a Xanax 90 minutes earlier and a Zoloft the prior night. A blood test revealed Grisham’s blood alcohol content to be .105 percent, well above .08 legal limit in Arizona. She also was found to be driving on a suspended license since August 2012 for failure to answer a traffic citation. In August 2014, Grisham accepted a plea bargain agreement that reduced the charge to misdemeanor reckless driving, plus two years of probation.[4][8][41] She returned to court twice for failure to pay the $779 in fines, and failure to complete a Mothers Against Drunk Driving program.[4]

Shortly after midnight, December 5, 2015, Grisham was arrested again in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, for driving without her headlights and suspicion of driving under the influence; thus violating her probation.[4] Grisham failed to appear at her court hearing on January 19, 2016,[4] whereupon the judge issued a warrant for her arrest.[41] Grisham pleaded guilty, and in July 2016 was ordered into a treatment program and to pay nearly $1,600 in court costs and fines.[4][8][16][41]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e FitzSimmons, Cal (June 25, 2019). "Eastmont graduate named new press secretary for President Trump". NCW Life Channel. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Farhi, Paul (August 28, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham is Trump's communications czar. Only most people wouldn't know it". Washington Post. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Lake, Kari (June 25, 2017). "Single mother from the Valley working for the Trump White House". KSAZ-TV. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne; Hansen, Ronald J (June 27, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham's unlikely path from Arizona politics to White House press secretary". Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Carroll, Megan (June 25, 2019). "New White House press secretary has ties to East Wenatchee". KREM (TV). Associated Press. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  6. ^ Pappas, Alex (June 25, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham to be the new White House Press Secretary". Fox News. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Bach, Natasha (June 14, 2019). "Who Is Stephanie Grisham? She Just Replaced Sarah Sanders". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Rogers, Katie; Karni, Annie (June 25, 2019). "Trump Names Stephanie Grisham, Aide to First Lady, as Sarah Sanders's Successor". New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne (January 19, 2017). "This Arizonan is going to the White House to work for Donald Trump". The Republic. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Howard, Andrew (June 25, 2019). "Trump taps Stephanie Grisham as White House spokeswoman". Arizona Capitol Times. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  11. ^ a b McBride, Jessica (June 26, 2019). "Is Stephanie Grisham Married? Learn About Her Ex Husband". Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Burch, Cathalena E (July 7, 2013). "'We've said our goodbyes:' KOLD anchor posts his pain". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Dylan (June 25, 2019). "Ex-Tucsonan Grisham named press secretary for President Trump". Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  14. ^ Walters, Gillian (July 3, 2019). "The Untold Truth of Stephanie Gresham". Nicki Swift. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Smith, Dylan (March 27, 2017). "Ex-Tucsonan named spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e Williamson, Elizabeth (August 22, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham's Turbulent Ascent to a Top White House Role". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Pearce, Matt; Carcamo, Cindy; Srikrishnan, Maya (July 23, 2014). "Arizona killer takes 2 hours to die, fueling lethal-injection debate - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Pierce, Charles P (July 24, 2014). "It's Time to End Our State-Sponsored Barbarism". Esquire. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne; Hansen, Ronald J (June 25, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham, new White House press secretary, had controversial Arizona career". Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Small, Jim (April 8, 2016). "This new background check policy is only the latest retaliation from Gowan's House". Arizona Capitol Times. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  21. ^ Pitzl, Mary Jo (September 26, 2015). "Arizona House spokeswoman prepping for the pope". The Republic. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Stephenson, Hank (April 25, 2017). "FLOTUS spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham on state payroll while on Trump's victory tour and transition team". Arizona Capitol Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  23. ^ "Trump Names House PR Person To Staff, Treasurer As Adviser". KNAU. Associated Press. December 1, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Schedule B for ALL Line". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  25. ^ "Schedule B for Line". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  26. ^ "Schedule B for ALL Line". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  27. ^ Markay, Lachlan (August 7, 2018). "The White House Won't Stop Melania From Contradicting Trump". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  28. ^ Hutzler, Alexandra (October 9, 2018). "Melania Trump's Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham Violated Hatch Act With 'Make America Great Again' Tweet". Newsweek. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  29. ^ Holland, Steve (June 25, 2019). "Longtime Trump aide Stephanie Grisham will succeed Sanders as press secretary". Reuters. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  30. ^ Bennett, Kate (June 25, 2019). "Trump taps Melania Trump's spokeswoman as next White House press secretary". CNN. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "Annual Report to Congress on White House Personnel" (PDF). Executive Office of the President. June 28, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2019.
  32. ^ Grisham, Stephanie; Gidley, Hogan (September 5, 2019). "The Washington Post's lost summer". Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  33. ^ Mannion, Connor (September 6, 2019). "Stephanie Grisham Claims Washington Post Didn't Cover Stories the Paper Actually Did Cover". Mediaite. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  34. ^ Forgey, Quint (September 23, 2019). "White House press secretary says daily briefings aren't coming back any time soon". POLITICO. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  35. ^ Trump, Donald J. (October 23, 2019). "The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!". @realDonaldTrump. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  36. ^ Musto, Julia (October 24, 2019). "Press secretary Grisham on Trump's 'human scum' tweet: Those working against him are 'just that'". Fox News. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  37. ^ Semones, Evan (October 26, 2019). "White House hits back at John Kelly over impeachment remarks". POLITICO. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  38. ^ Darcy, Oliver (November 11, 2019). "White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has yet to hold a briefing with reporters, but finds time for Fox News". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  39. ^ "Full Video and Analysis of Day 1 of Impeachment Hearing Testimony". New York Times. November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  40. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (November 20, 2019). "Trump press secretary backtracks claim Obama officials left 'You will fail' notes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  41. ^ a b c "Like So Many Of His Associates, Donald Trump's New Press Secretary Has Posed For Some Mug Shots". The Smoking Gun. August 28, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Shine
White House Director of Communications
Preceded by
Sarah Sanders
White House Press Secretary
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