Melania Trump’s spokeswoman named new White House press secretary

Stephanie Grisham will replace Sarah Sanders while retaining current duties

Melania Trump has announced that her long-time spokeswoman and confidante will succeed Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary.

Stephanie Grisham has been part of US president Donald Trump's team since 2015, when he launched his presidential campaign.

She will also take on the role of White House communications director, a strategic and forward-looking role that has been vacant since March.

Ms Grisham will also accompany Mr Trump on a trip to Japan and South Korea on Wednesday.

The first lady announced the news on Twitter, saying she “can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country”.

“Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the White House,” Ms Trump said.

Ms Grisham worked directly for Mr Trump after he took office in 2017. She was a deputy press secretary in the West Wing before she was selected in March of that year to run communications for the first lady. She will continue to serve the first lady in her new capacity.

Ms Grisham will succeed Ms Sanders, whose resignation is effective at the end of the month. – AP