The untold truth of Stephanie Grisham

Shortly before President Donald Trump took his oath of office in January 2017, he assembled his cabinet and team of advisors. The same was true for his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, who put together her own staff, including political veteran Stephanie Grisham. Although Grisham worked for the president first (she was a press aide for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and became Deputy Press Secretary for former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer), she later became Melania's press secretary and communications director. Although Grisham didn't hold the most esteemed role in the administration, she quickly became a well-known name for her fierce support of Melania and the Trump family. Not only did Grisham pen a passionate op-ed defending Melania against her critics, but she reportedly helped oust one of the first lady's adversaries from the White House. Paging Olivia Pope, anyone? 

That all being said, Grisham had a life before the Trumps, a background some American citizens might be curious to learn about given her June 2019 promotion to White House press secretary. For instance, how did Grisham manage to climb up the political ladder? And does she have a personal life outside of her hectic job? We answer these questions and more in the untold truth of Stephanie Grisham.

Stephanie Grisham is no stranger to politics

If you thought Stephanie Grisham's ascent to the White House came out of nowhere, think again. As it turns out, Grisham has a long career working in politics, having served as the spokeswoman for then Arizona Attorney General Horne, and the Republican majority at the Arizona House of Representatives, according to the Arizona Republic. Many of Grisham's bosses had nothing but good things to say about her work ethic, with Horne telling the publication: "She's a great advocate for the person she's working for. She's very friendly easy to be around, and she's very effective. She has good relationships with reporters. And she is very committed to her work. I think people in Washington notice that in her defenses of the president's wife. She hit back hard when they've made unfair criticisms."

Grisham also got a taste of the big leagues before working for the Trumps, as she worked on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. "When he lost, I was devastated for a month, and I pulled myself out of bed," she told FOX 10 Phoenix News. Ouch.

No matter how you might feel about Grisham, her experience in the political field can't be denied.

She has Melania's back

Stephanie Grisham often went above and beyond for her former boss, Melania Trump, especially when she felt as if the first lady was unjustly attacked. Case in point: In December 2018, Grisham penned a passionate CNN op-ed in response to Melania's many critics, arguing that President Donald Trump's wife can't win no matter what. "Whenever Mrs. Trump sits down for interviews, she inevitably gets attacked for her honest answers," she said, adding, "The simple fact is that Mrs. Trump deserves honest reporting and media coverage that focuses on the substance of her message: the importance of helping children grow up to be happy, healthy and socially responsible adults." 

The political guru also praised Melania for her commitment to the role of first lady, writing: "She has and will continue to demonstrate her commitment to helping children and advancing the causes she is passionate about. But there is nothing wrong with staying true to herself along the way. In fact, her strength, individuality and integrity should be celebrated."

But wait — that's not all. Grisham ended her message with a screed against journalists, saying: "The media also has the opportunity and responsibility to report fairly, accurately and without bias. They are, in fact, writing the first draft of our nation's history. In many ways, they are failing to measure up to this responsibility." Yep, it's quite obvious Grisham will always go to bat for Melania, no matter what.

Wait, Stephanie Grisham got into a fight with who?

One of the more random factoids about Stephanie Grisham is her October 2018 fight with a producer on The Ellen Show. The drama started when the producer, Andy Lassner, who is also an outspoken socio-political commentator on social media, tweeted a jab at Melania Trump over immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. "I'm way more afraid of another Melania getting into this country than I am of any caravan of human beings seeking asylum," he wrote (via Newsweek). Grisham didn't take the criticism well, to say the least, tweeting back at him, "Hi @andylassner @flotus is hosting children at the White House today to talk to them about kindness … should I save you a seat?" Oy.

Instead of dropping the conversation, Lassner replied to Grisham with a few more barbs. "Yes!! Will she be talking about how she pushed her husband's theory that our first black president was born in Kenya?" he wrote. "What about her 'I don't care, do you jacket' worn while babies were being ripped away from parents at the border? What time should I arrive? Is it dressy?" Grisham then replied, "You may want to check your facts before you get here, I'm happy to brief you upon arrival." Wow, Grisham can really play ball.

It was Lassner who had the last word, however, criticizing Grisham for supposedly relying on right-wing media publication Breitbart as her "main news source." As for Grisham? She chose not to respond.

Stephanie Grisham has a thorny history with the press

Remember when we told you about Stephanie Grisham's background in politics? Well, it appears that she had a few scandals during her time as a spokesperson for the Republican majority at the Arizona House of Representatives, especially where it concerned the press. Here's what reportedly happened: In January 2016, then Republican House Speaker David Gowan was accused of "charging $12,000 in personal and campaign travel expenses to taxpayers," allegations that were detailed by the Arizona Capitol Times. Seemingly in response to the report, Gowan issued a new rule that "required reporters to undergo extensive background checks in order to access the floor of the chamber," according to the Arizona Republic, therefore revoking many reporters' credentials. Arizona Capitol Times editor Jim Small said the move was "an attack on the press and an affront to the concept of accountable government" as well as "direct retaliation" against reporters "who exposed how House Speaker David Gowan was using state vehicles to crisscross the state and advance his congressional bid."

Small also accused Grisham of playing a role in Gowan's decision, stating: "When I called Grisham to get an explanation, she made no bones about the fact that the paper's access had been pulled because of the story. She accused the paper of working for Chandler attorney Tom Ryan, who was quoted in the original story saying he intended to file a complaint against Gowan and the others for misusing the state vehicles." 

Stephanie Grisham does not mess around

Stephanie Grisham can be forceful when she wants to, a personality trait she put on display amid a scandal involving former Deputy National Security Advisor Mira Ricardel. Per reports, Melania Trump didn't get along with Ricardel due a laundry list of personal issues, a frustration that came to an explosive head in November 2018. Melania was supposedly upset over Ricardel's decisions involving a trip to Africa, including "seating on the plane and the use of National Security Council resources," according to CNN. In response to the disagreements, Grisham released a pointed statement (via The New York Times) about Ricardel, saying: "It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." Yikes — tell us how you really feel, ladies.

Shortly after Grisham released the statement, then White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Ricardel's dismissal. "Mira Ricardel will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration," she said (via The New York Times). "The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel's continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities."

She's a devoted single mom

Much of the chatter surrounding Grisham pertains to her professional life, so some people might be interested to know what her world consists of when she's off of the clock. As it turns out, Grisham is a devoted single mom to two boys, Kurtis and Jake. In fact, the political staffer's younger son heavily factored into why she decided to leave her position in President Donald Trump's administration, as deputy press secretary for Sean Spicer, to take the spokesperson job working for Melania Trump. 

"The reason I ultimately left is because I want to bring my little boy out here to live with me full time," Grisham told FOX 10 Phoenix News. "That kind of schedule, as a single parent, it wouldn't be fair to him. Over here, the hours aren't quite as long. The First Lady is very, very supportive of me, as a single mother, and I'll be able to work from home if I need to."

Grisham also admitted that some aspects of her rigorous career have been tough, stating that she's often away from her boys. "Sometimes, I just break down and cry. I miss them," she added. "I know that in the future, this will be great for them and it will benefit them." Aww.

Stephanie Grisham has a famous ex

Once upon a time, Stephanie Grisham was married to Arizona TV news anchor Dan Marries. Grisham's ex is the father of her older son, Kurtis, as his personal biography confirms. "Dan is the father of three boys — Kurtis, Dean, and Preston, who was born on April 27, 2019," the bio states. "He's the lucky husband of Jennifer, who's originally from Nassau, Bahamas. The were married in 2010 and love calling Tucson home."

It's not clear when Grisham and Marries wed and divorced, but the two did go to court over child support at one point. It looks like whatever issue that arose has since been resolved, but we're not sure if the two are on good terms at the time of this writing.

Either way, it sounds like Grisham's ex is pretty accomplished as a journalist. "Dan has been recognized with numerous awards as a journalist including two Emmys, one which came from a half-hour documentary he shot, wrote and produced on one of his three trips to Vietnam with local veteran," his bio reveals. "He won a Communicator's Award for a rodeo story on legendary Ty Murray, and Ty's efforts to give retired bucking horses a place to live. He's also been recognized several times by the Arizona Associated Press." Not too shabby.

Stephanie Grisham's rap sheet might surprise you

As the old saying goes, everyone has a past, and Stephanie Grisham is no exception. Want some proof? Look no further than her rap sheet. In 2013, Grisham "was charged with driving under the influence, speeding and driving with an invalid license," charges that were reduced to reckless driving in 2014, as The New York Times reported. Unfortunately, just a year later, the same outlet reported that Grisham "was pulled over again" and "charged with driving under the influence."

Grisham pled guilty to the charges, agreeing to pay a fine and complete a treatment program. Melania Trump's spokesperson told the NYT in June 2019 that she completed "a safety class and paid the fines, and that she disclosed the episodes to the White House before going to work there." 

We're not here to judge anyone, and we hope that Grisham has since learned her lesson.

What really happened with the North Koreans?

Stephanie Grisham made headlines in June 2019 when she got into a scuffle during a presidential trip to North Korea. The drama went down in the region's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — the area that divides North Korea from South Korea — where President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Grisham accompanied Trump to the meeting, waiting with a group of reporters as the two conversed and toured the area. But what was a calm meeting turned hectic when North Korean security guards reportedly tried to block the press from snapping photos of Trump and Kim Jong Un, leading to a rumble between the parties. Grisham managed to land herself in the middle of the melee, shown in the video above (via The Washington Post), supposedly "side-checking a North Korean guard" at one point, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Making matters even more wild? CNN referred to the incident as "an all out brawl," noting that Grisham left the meeting with the bruises. Say what now?

We're not exactly sure what happened here, but the incident sounds like it was a sight to see.