President Trump is casting a wide net to replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sarah became more of an indispensable advisor rather than just a press secretary so her shoes will be hard to fill.
The two leading contenders appear to be CNN contributor and Trump advisor and Melania’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
From Mediaite: A new report states that the White House is considering CNN contributor Steve Cortes as a potential successor to departing White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Politico Playbook reports that Cortes was contacted about the job on Thursday by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s office. Cortes — who regularly appears on CNN programs including; Anderson Cooper: 360, The Lead with Jake Tapper, and Cuomo Prime Time with Chris Cuomo — served on Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council during the 2016 campaign and is now serving on Trump’s 2020 reelection advisory committee.
The CNN contributor has been considered for communications roles in the White House before, and was even vetted for the job of press secretary in the past.
Cortes declined to comment to Politico, and the White House did not immediately return a message from that outlet. Cortes is reportedly set to visit the White House next week.
From Politico: President Donald Trump has started having conversations with Sanders and others about who should be his next press secretary, according to one person familiar with the matter.
And the president is expected to start talking to potential candidates in the coming days, the person added. Meanwhile, White House aides and Trump’s outside advisers have immediately started discussing candidates and handicapping their chances of getting the job.
At the top of the shortlist of candidates is Stephanie Grisham, first lady Melania Trump’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, according to multiple White House officials and people close to Trump.
Grisham has been working at the White House for the entirety of Trump’s time in office, and before that worked on his campaign and transition team. She is well-liked by the president and other senior White House aides.
Even before Sanders announced her departure, which will come at the end of the month, there had been quiet discussions about bringing her back to the West Wing, officials said. Grisham started in the White House as a deputy to then-press secretary Sean Spicer before Melania Trump brought her to the East Wing. Over the past two years, Trump has frequently joked with Grisham about stealing her back, a White House official said.
Trump praised Grisham during an interview with Fox News on Friday morning without tipping his hand about who he might choose. “Stephanie is terrific. We have a lot of great people. We have a lot of people to choose from,” he said.