Apr 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos of Alyssa Farah, Stephanie Grisham and Kayleigh McEnany
Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

  • Stephanie Grisham, who's held the post of White House press secretary and communications director since last July, has never held a formal daily briefing — a regular practice that ended under her predecessor Sarah Sanders.
  • It's not clear whether Meadows intends to replace Grisham or to bring in a press secretary to supplement her communications director role — and whether he intends to resume regular briefings on topics beyond the coronavirus.

What we're hearing: Meadows met with Farah in recent days and has discussed the possibility of the job directly with her.

  • Meadows did not respond to requests for comment.
  • Grisham told Axios: “Sounds like more palace intrigue to me, but I’ve also been in quarantine. If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press.”

The backstory:

  • Farah, 30, served as communications director for Meadows when he chaired the House Freedom Caucus, and she has maintained a close relationship with Meadows and his aides. Before joining the Pentagon in August, Farah served as Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary.
  • McEnany, 31, was a former CNN contributor and national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee before being hired last year as press secretary for the Trump re-election campaign.
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