President Donald Trump said that he’s looking at a number of potential candidates to replace Sarah Sanders, who is leaving her position as White House press secretary in a few weeks.
“I have a lot of people that want it,” he said during an interview on Fox & Friends on Friday morning.
He named several people, including Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for First Lady Melania Trump, who he said was “terrific.”
He also said that he likes Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director, but said he should stay in his current role as a political consultant.
“Anthony is a good guy” Trump says about @Scaramucci – but says he should stay where he is
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 14, 2019
Pres has no announcement on who he’ll name to succeed Sarah Sanders as Press Secretary. “I have a lot of people that want it,” he said. “A lot of great people” want the job. Said @StephGrisham45 is “terrific,” and he likes @Scaramucci, but says he should stay where he is.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 14, 2019
Grisham praised Sanders on Thursday, calling her “a true pro and a dear friend.” Multiple reports have indicated that she’s near the top of the list in terms of possible replacements.
Two sources told Fin Gomez of CBS, formerly of Fox News, that interviews could begin next week and that Grisham was a strong candidate.
“Stephanie Grisham is well-respected by the first couple and has impressed the president, according to the sources. Grisham was among the staff who worked on the president’s 2016 campaign,” Gomez noted.
“The president likes her,” a former White House official told him.
Jonathan Swan, a reporter for Axios, said that “a number of influential people close to President Trump want her in the job—and Trump has told people he likes her and trusts her.”
“Melania loves her, and she’s captured POTUS’ attention in her ability to manage news cycles and understand their philosophy,” a White House adviser told RCP. “Tough as nails, very smart.”
Other possible replacements included Tony Sayegh, who was spokesman for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Steve Cortes, a pro-Trump CNN contributor, and Hogan Gidley, Sanders’s deputy press secretary, Gomez reported.
Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush, said whoever replaces Sanders needs three things.
“They will need someone who, number one, understands President Trump, believes in President Trump, and will fight for President Trump,” he told RCP. “Number two, it would help if they found someone with a good rapport with the press corps because this is a time to make that relationship better. And number three, they better have damned thick skin.”
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Author: Zachary Stieber
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