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Woman with Arizona ties to become White House press secretary

In this June 21, 2019 photo, Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, watches as President Donald Trump and the first lady greet attendees during the annual Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn in Washington. First lady Melania Trump has announced that Grisham will be the new White House press secretary. Grisham, who has been with President Donald Trump since 2015, will also take on the role of White House communications director. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, who has Arizona ties, will replace Sarah Sanders as the White House press secretary, the first lady announced Tuesday.

Stephanie Grisham, who has been with the Trumps since 2015, will also take on the role of White House communications director, a strategic and forward-looking role that has been vacant since March.

Grisham was a deputy press secretary in the West Wing before she was tapped in March 2017 to run communications for the first lady. She will continue to serve the first lady in her new capacity.

Grisham has served as the communications director for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and she worked for Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign.

“I think (President Donald Trump) is lucky to get her. She’s very effective. She was a very friendly person to work with … and a good advocate, tough on people that were opposed to us,” former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“She also developed that reputation representing the president’s wife, so she’ll do a good job.”

Grisham also worked as state Rep. David Gowan’s spokeswoman when he was House speaker in 2015 and 2016.

Gowan told KTAR News it was exciting to see his former staffer get a job working for the president, but but he wasn’t surprised about her success.

“She’s very professional. Dedicated to her craft, actually,” he said.

Gowan said Grisham excelled at finding the right words for different situations, a skill that will come in handy in the Trump White House.

“She knew what to say and how hard to hit, how hard not to hit,” he said.

The first lady tweeted Tuesday that she “can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country.”

Grisham will accompany the president on a trip to Japan and South Korea on Wednesday.

Sanders announced her resignation earlier this month.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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