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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.

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Reid Hoffman launches $1M ad urging election patience

Screengrab of ad

Billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, one of Democrats' biggest donors, tells Axios he's launching a $1 million digital ad campaign in battleground states urging voters to be patient with election results and prepare for no winner to be known on Nov. 3, no matter what "some people" may prematurely declare via Twitter.

Driving the news: The three-minute ad, titled "We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza," features the voice of "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons and Broadway star Barrett Doss. The spot will appear on Facebook targeting voters in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Friday had already reached 61.7% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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