White House Considers Restoring the Daily Briefing for the Next Press Secretary

WASHINGTON — Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s announcement that she would step down as White House press secretary has set off the latest round of musical chairs in the West Wing and an internal debate over whether to revive the daily news briefing as President Trump heads into the thick of election season.

Some White House officials have argued that the daily briefing, which on the day of Ms. Sanders’s resignation on Thursday had not been held for 94 days, is a powerful tool that would help elevate Mr. Trump above his Democratic opponent in the 2020 race. One of those pushing for its revival, officials said, is Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, who wants the next press secretary to play a more proactive role in shaping the White House message, adding at the least a daily untelevised briefings to his or her duties.

But others have argued that Mr. Trump has never liked the daily briefing as a forum to disseminate the message of the day, preferring to do it himself on Twitter.

Ms. Sanders’s position is expected to be filled on an interim basis by Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary, according to two White House officials. But the president, they said, is eager to install a woman in the job on a permanent basis.

One of the names under consideration on Friday to succeed Ms. Sanders, people familiar with the process said, was Stephanie Grisham, who joined the Trump campaign in 2015 as a press wrangler and has served as communications director for the first lady, Melania Trump, for the past two years.

Ms. Grisham’s experience working in the East Wing as a ferocious defender of Mrs. Trump, writing op-eds criticizing the news media for the way it covers her, is seen in line with how Mr. Trump has come to view the role of his press secretary, people familiar with the process said. By the end of her tenure, Ms. Sanders was functioning more as an adviser to the president than as an outward-facing press liaison.

Mr. Trump has also expressed interest in considering Morgan Ortagus, a former Fox News national security contributor who recently became the spokeswoman for the State Department.

Other names that have been floated include Heather Nauert, the former State Department spokeswoman whom the president planned to nominate as ambassador to the United Nations, but who later withdrew her name from consideration. Ms. Nauert, who moved back to New York to be with her family, is not interested in returning to Washington, people said, but Mr. Trump has a soft spot for her.

Source: NYT

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